ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FA 410332 RO

                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          ------------------------------------X 
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.:               
                                                 FA 410332 RO 
                                              :
                                                 DRO ORDER NO.:           
                                                 CA 410317 - R              
                VIC BERTRAND     
                                             
                                                 TENANT: Marie Badeaux      
                          

                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X                             

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


               On January 30, 1991,  the  above-named  petitioner  filed  a
          Petition for administrative review against  an  order  issued  on
          January 22, 1991, by  an  Administrator  concerning  the  housing
          accommodation known as 203 West 109th Street, New York, New York, 
          Apartment No. 3E, wherein the Administrator determined  that  the
          tenant had been overcharged.
                 
               The Commissioner has reviewed all of  the  evidence  in  the
          record and has carefully considered that portion  of  the  record
          relevant to the issues raised by the administrative appeal.  

               This proceeding was originally commenced by the filing of an 
          overcharge complaint by the tenant  on  January  18,  1988.   The
          tenant took occupancy of the subject apartment on August 1,  1981
          pursuant to a two  year  vacancy  lease  at  a  monthly  rent  of
          $275.00.

               In her complaint the  tenant  contended  that  she  did  not
          receive the initial apartment  registration  form  and  that  the
          owner collected a large increase above the 1987 rent.






               The owner in response to the overcharge complaint  submitted
          leases from August 1, 1985 through July 31, 1991.   In  addition,
          the owner submitted two consent forms for the installation of new 
          equipment installed within the apartment during the years of 1986 
          and 1988.  

               On October 3, 1990, the owner was requested to submit copies 
          of cancelled checks and bills  substantiating  the  cost  of  new






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FA 410332 RO
          equipment installed within the subject apartment.   In  addition,
          the owner was asked to submit a copy  of  the  initial  apartment
          registration form (1984), proof of service of said form,  a  copy
          of the 1987  apartment  registration  form  and  a  copy  of  the
          tenant's lease for the period of April 1, 1984.   

               On November 5,  1990,  the  owner  was  sent  an  additional
          information letter advising the owner that it  failed  to  submit
          the documentation requested on October 3, 1990.   The  owner  was
          further advised that he had to submit copies of  leases  or  rent
          ledgers from April 1, 1980 for the  subject  apartment.   Lastly,
          the owner was  advised  that  failure  to  submit  the  requested
          information would result  in  a  default  determination  and  the
          imposition of treble damages on any willful overcharge  occurring
          after April 1, 1984.

               On January 22, 1991, the Rent Administrator established  the
          lawful stabilized rent at $209.50 commencing August 1, 1981.  The 
          Administrator's determination was based upon the owner's  failure
          to  provide  a  copy  and  proof  of  service  of   the   Initial
          Registration form (1984) and the registration form for 1987.  The 
          owner also failed to provide the lease covering  April  1,  1980.
          Therefore,  the   Administrator   imposed   treble   damages   on
          overcharges occurring after April 1, 1980.  The total  overcharge
          was $22,000.89 as of August 31, 1990.    

               In  his  petition  for  administrative  review   the   owner
          contends, in substance, that the 1984 Apartment Registration  was
          hand delivered to the tenant by the superintendent of the subject 
          premises, and that contrary to  the  Administrator's  order,  the
          building was registered in 1987.

               In  support  of  his  allegation  that  the   building   was
          registered in 1984 and 1987 the owner submits copies of the  1984
          and 1987 apartment registrations.

               Lastly, the owner contends that  the  assessment  of  treble
          damages was improper since the prior owner and the petitioner had 
          filed the appropriate documents in a timely manner.



               On February 19, 1991, the tenant was served with a  copy  of
          the owner's petition.  In response to  the  petition  the  tenant
          alleges, among other things, that prior to her occupancy the rent 
          was between $100.00 and $150.00 dollars a month and the owner has 
          failed to prove what the actual prior rent was.

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should 
          be denied. 

               The   Commissioner   finds    that    the    Administrator's
          determination was properly based on the entire record.   Pursuant
          to the 1984 Registration procedures, owners  of  rent  stabilized
          dwellings were advised that copies of the apartment  registration
          had to be served upon the tenant named in the lease at  the  time
          of initial registration, or to the first tenant in  occupancy  if
          the apartment was vacant at the  time  of  initial  registration.
          Moreover, the owner was advised to obtain an acceptable proof  of






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FA 410332 RO
          delivery in one of the following ways:

                        1. Hand-deliver the envelope to the tenant
                           named, and get an appropriate signed 
                           receipt.                        
                                                      
                        2. Use the U.S. Post Office "Carrier
                           Route Pre-Sort" service, through 
                           a bonded mailing house.  The Post
                           Office will date-certify the number
                           of pieces received from the mailing
                           house for each building, and the 
                           bonded mail house will furnish a 
                           list of the addresses.  This service
                           can    be    arranged    through    the     Rent
                       Stabilization Association of New York 
                           City (for RSA members only), or  
                           directly through a bonded mailing     
                           house.  You should keep both the Post 
                           Office certification and the mailing
                           house addressee list.  












                        3. Obtain a signed and dated copy of Post
                           Office form #PO 3877 "Acceptance of 
                           Registered, Insured, C.O.D. and 
                           Certified Mail", which is available
                           through your post office and can be
                           used to prove date of delivery of 
                           regular first-class mail to the post
                           office.  You must list each individual
                           tenant's name (15 names per page), and
                           the address to which this mailing is 
                           sent.  

               The owner was additionally  advised  that  the  proof(s)  of
          receipt, properly signed and  dated  (by  the  tenant,  the  post
          office,  or  the  mailing  house,  as   appropriate),   will   be
          considered adequate by DHCR  to  establish  the  tenant's  90-day
          challenge period, which will begin on the date of the receipt. 
          This "date of receipt" must also be entered on another form which 
          is part of the initial registration, the "Registration  Summary,"
          form RR-2.  The owner was, therefore,  clearly  notified  of  the
          importance of keeping the completed  and  signed  document(s)  of
          receipt.

               A review of the record indicates that the  owner  failed  to
          provide proof of service of the 1984 apartment registration form. 
          Therefore, that portion of the Administrator's  order  addressing






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FA 410332 RO
          the 1984 registration was correct.

               Pursuant to Section 2528.4 of the  Rent  Stabilization  Code
          the failure to properly and timely comply  with  the  initial  or
          annual rent registration as required shall, until  such  time  as
          the registration is completed, bar an owner from applying for  or
          collecting any excess rent in excess of the legal regulated  rent
          in effect on  April  first  of  the  year  for  which  an  annual
          registration was required to be filed, or such other date of that 
          year as may be determined by the Division.  

               Secondly, it is well-settled that, absent good  cause  being
          shown, an Administrative Review is not a de novo  proceeding  but
          is limited to the issues  and  evidence  which  were  before  the
          Administrator.  The owner was given ample opportunity  to  submit
          the 1987 apartment registration and summary form, but  failed  to
          do so in the initial proceeding.   Most  importantly,  a  current
          review of the Division's registration information  revealed  that
          the  owner  did  not  register  the  apartment   for   the   1987
          registration period.    

                


               The  owner  is  advised  that   filing   of   the   required
          registration shall result in the  elimination,  prospectively  of
          such penalty.  Therefore, the Administrator's finding  concerning
          the owner's failure to register the subject apartment during  the
          year of 1987 and  subsequent  suspension  of  the  collection  of
          guideline increases was correct.    

               Pursuant to Section 2526.1 of the Rent  Stabilization  Code,
          treble damages are imposed on overcharges collected on  or  after
          April 1, 1984, unless the owner establishes by a preponderance of 
          the evidence that the overcharges were not willful.  

               A review of the record indicates that the owner was  sent  a
          notices on August 9, 1990 and November 5, 1990, advising him that 
          treble damages would be  imposed  on  willful  overcharges.   The
          owner failed to submit any evidence that the  overcharges  herein
          were not willful.  The petitioner's allegation that rent  records
          had been properly submitted  is  belied  by  the  record  herein.
          Accordingly, the owner failed to establish by a preponderance  of
          the evidence that the overcharge was not willful.  Therefore, the 
          imposition of treble damages was correct.    

               This order may, upon the expiration of the period  in  which
          the owner may institute a proceeding pursuant to  Article  78  of
          the Civil Practice Law and rules be filed  and  enforced  by  the
          tenant in the same manner as a  judgment  or  not  in  excess  of
          twenty percent thereof per month may be offset against  any  rent
          thereafter due the owner. 

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and 
          Code, it is

               ORDERED, that this petition be,  and  the  same  hereby  is,
          denied and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and  the  same
          hereby is, affirmed.






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FA 410332 RO

          ISSUED:





                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

    

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