STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.:
GEORGE SUBRAJ, DISTRICT RENT
PETITIONER CH 110188-R
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN PART AND REMANDING PROCEEDING TO ADMINISTRATOR
On April 4, 1991, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Peti-
tion for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued on March 12, 1991. The order concerned
housing accommodations known as Apartment 2-H, located at 88-05
Merrick Blvd., Jamaica, New York. The Administrator determined
that the tenant had been overcharged.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and has carefully con-
sidered that portion of the record relevant to the issues raised
by this appeal.
The tenant commenced this proceeding by filing a complaint on
August 4, 1988 in which he indicated that he moved into the sub-
ject apartment on January 16, 1985 at a rent of $514.00 per month
which was increased to $544.84 in 1986. In the statement of
complaint, the tenant asserted that the owner owes him $705.00
consisting of $47.00 per month for 15 months. The remainder of
his statement is illegible.
The complaint was served on the owner named by the tenant in the
complaint along with an answer form.
Petitioner responded and alleged that 1) he was not the building
owner, 2) the complaint was unreadable and did not provide proper
notice of the tenant's complaint and 3) that the complaint
lacked merit. The Examiner's notes indicate that on December 27,
1990, the petitioner was asked to supply certain leases and a
copy of an MCI order granting a rent increase for the building.
There were no further submissions by the owner.
The Administrator calculated a total overcharge of $630.07
including interest. In determining the lawful rent and over-
charges, the Administrator incorporated a rent reduction for
failure to maintain services which was effective March 1, 1987
and restored August 1, 1988. No increases were given for MCI's
because "the owner failed to provide updated information to show
how the MCI's effected the rent."
On appeal, the petitioner states that the initial complaint was
unreadable and did not provide proper notice of tenant's com-
plaint. He further states that even though DHCR was notified in
April 1989 of the owner's new address, the Administrator failed
to amend its records accordingly.
The tenant did not respond to the petition.
After a careful review of the evidence in the record the Commis-
sioner is of the opinion that the proceeding must be remanded to
the Administrator for reprocessing.
The owner's allegations regarding due process violations have
merit. The Commissioner has examined the tenant's initial com-
plaint and agrees that the difficulty in reading item 10 denied
petitioner his right to proper notice. The owner in its answer
sought clarification of the illegible portion but its request was
unanswered. A check of DHCR records also indicates that peti-
tioner did notify DHCR in the 1989 registration filed in April
1989 of its new address but the Administrator continued to use
the address indicated in the complaint. Finally, there is no
evidence in the record that the Administrator asked the owner for
leases and it is not clear which "updated information" was needed
to give the owner the benefit of the MCI orders that the
Administrator did have. This proceeding, accordingly, must be
remanded to the Administrator for reprocessing of the complaint.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is granted to
the extent of remanding this proceeding to the District Rent
Administrator for further processing in accordance with this
order and opinion. The automatic stay of so much of the District
Rent Administrator's order as directed a refund is hereby
continued until a new order is issued upon remand. However, the
Administrator's determination as to the rent is not stayed and
shall remain in effect, except for any adjustments pursuant to
lease renewals, until the Administrator issues a new Order upon