DOCKET NO.: FE 110022 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK  11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: FF 110022 RO

               James Brocad                       D.R.O DOCKET NO.          
                                                  DOCKET NO.: CD 110408 R


               On May 3, 1991 the above-named petitioner filed an 
          Administrative Appeal against an order issued on April 15, 1991 
          by the District Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, 
          Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known as 
          31-66 38th Street, Queens, New York, Apt 3F.

               The Administrative Appeal is being determined pursuant to 
          the provisions of 9 NYCRR 2526.1(a)(1).

               The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's 
          determination of willful rent overcharge was warranted.

               The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the 
          record and has carefully considered the portion of the record 
          relevant to the issue raised by the Administrative Appeal.

               This proceeding was commenced on April 20, 1988 by the 
          tenant filing a general overcharge complaint.

               The owner responded by filing a rent history including all 
          leases of the subject apartment from 1984 to date and the 
          corresponding annual apartment registrations.

               The owner also submitted a copy of a building-wide Major 
          Capital Improvement Order No. Z-Q 000293-OM.

          DOCKET NO.: FE 110022 RO

               There was also evidence that the owner had been allowed an 
          increase for installation of a new refrigerator with tenant 
          consent in June 1986.

               On April 15, 1991 the Rent Administrator issued the subject 
          order finding a rent overcharge.  

               The significant findings were that the owner raised the rent 
          $12.00 for the individual improvement of a new refrigerator in 
          June 1986; that the owner could have received a $12.40 increase 
          representing 1/40 of $496.30 ($476.30 cost of new refrigerator 
          and $20.00 removal of old refrigerator); and that the owner 
          waived his rights to the $ .40 when he did not timely charge it.

          The owner was found to have overcharged the tenant $ .50 
          per month from January 1988 and continuing for 23 months for a 
          total of $11.50 due to his failure to remove a temporary 
          increase from the base rent by December 31, 1987.

          Further, the owner was found to have overcharged the tenant
          $ .73 per month from December 1989 and continuing for 17 months 
          for a total of $12.41 due to his continued failure to remove the  
          temporary increase from the base rent before the subsequent 

          The Rent Administrator found treble damages of $71.83 due to 
          a finding that the owner's overcharge was wilful.

          In his Petition for Administrative Review the owner argued 
          that his oversight in charging the full increase for the 
          refrigerator should negate the finding of willful overcharge for 
          continuing the temporary $. 50 increase in the base rent beyond 
          December 1987.

          After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of 
          record, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the owner's 
          administrative appeal should be denied.

          As the owner previously waived the $ .40 increase for 
          removal of the old refrigerator, it may not be resurrected to 
          offset the subsequent overcharge.

          Section 2526.1(a)(1)  of the Rent Stabilization Code 
          provides in substance that treble damages shall be imposed on 
          overcharges occurring on and after April 1, 1984 unless an owner 
          establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the 
          overcharge was not willful.  The Commissioner does not consider 

          the owner to have rebutted the presumption of willfulness, so 
          treble damages have been imposed.

          DOCKET NO.: FE 110022 RO

          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 District Rent Administrator's order be, and 
          the same is affirmed.


          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
          Deputy Commissioner


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