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.:
VICKI SQUIRE, DISTRICT RENT
PETITIONER CL 110286-R
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On July 5, 1991, the above-named petitioner-tenant filed a Peti-
tion for Administrative Review against an order issued on June 6,
1991 by a Rent Administrator concerning housing accommodations
known as Apartment 5-G at 134-37 Maple Avenue, Flushing, New
York, wherein the District Rent Administrator determined that the
tenant had not been overcharged.
The issue in this appeal is whether the District Rent
Administrator's order was warranted.
The applicable sections of the Law are Section 26-516 of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Sections 2526.1(a) and 2523.5 of the cur-
rent Rent Stabilization Code.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record
and has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant
to the issue raised by the administrative appeal.
This proceeding was originally commenced by the filing on
November 12, 1988 of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant,
in which she stated that she had commenced occupancy on January
15, 1980 pursuant to a two-year lease at a rent of $365.00 per
The owner filed an initial registration statement for the subject
premises effective April 1, 1984. The registration stated the
legal rent was $390.55.
The owner was served with the complaint and directed to submit
documentation able to substantiate all rent increases since the
Subsequently, in response to a request for further documentation
from the DHCR dated March 15, 1991, the tenant stated that her
initial lease was the only one she had a copy of, and that the
owner never returned a copy of the only other lease she ever
signed, which contained no date or rental amount. The tenant
also stated that the owner never tendered any other "proper"
leases to her for the subject-premises.
In Order No. CL 110286-R, issued on June 6, 1991, the
Administrator determined that the initial legal registered rent
of $390.55 had been lawfully increased to $456.37 per month
through July 31, 1988. The order also declared the termination
of review after July 31, 1988 because the tenant had failed to
supply additional information regarding leases and rental payment
subsequent to that date. Finally the order advised the tenant to
complete and to file the enclosed Form RA-90a to request DHCR to
compel the owner to offer the tenant a renewal lease.
In her petition, dated July 5, 1991, the tenant contends that the
Administrator's order improperly allowed rent increases even
though the owner had never offered any "proper" renewal leases to
The owner's answer contends that the tenant's petition has no
basis because valid lease copies were sent to the DHCR, and that
the tenant even has copies of them.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that the tenants petition
should be denied.
The tenant's complaint of rent overcharge, which was filed on
November 12, 1988, was based on the fact that there have been no
lease agreements between the owner and the tenant since the
expiration of the tenant's vacancy lease in February 1982. The
Commissioner notes that under Section 2523.5(c) of the current
Rent Stabilization Code, effective May 1, 1987 (and Section 60 of
the former Code), the owner is required to make a timely offer of
a renewal lease to the tenant, for which the failure to make such
offer subjects the owner to penalty. However, the complaint does
not claim that the owner ever failed to do this nor does the
tenant make this allegation anywhere else in the record. The
statement that the owner failed to tender "proper" renewal leases
is vague and evasive in that it does not claim that the owner
failed to tender any leases at all. Significantly, the owner's
claim that lease renewals actually were signed by the tenant is
never denied. Finally, it is significant that the tenant had
never commenced an action to request that the DHCR compel the
owner to make such offer of a renewal lease before filing an
overcharge complaint. The Administrator therefore appropriately
determined to apply the DHCR's policy of deemed leases, and
assessed the rent history for overcharges as based purely on
compliance with the guidelines or other Code provisions, as
required, as if the tenant and owner had mutually agreed to
forego a formal written lease.
The record further establishes that the subject-premises were
duly registered in 1984, and that the complainant's rent on April
1, 1984, was adopted as the initial legal registered rent, in
accordance with Section 2521.1(c) of the current Rent
Stabilization Code. Section 2526 further provides that unless
the initial legal registered rent is successfully challenged by
the tenant in occupancy within 90 days of the mailing of a copy
of the regis-tration statement to the tenant, no subsequent
challenge may be entertained. Insofar as the complaint alleged
no defect in the initial registration, the Administrator properly
limited review of the lease history to the period subsequent to
The finding that there were no overcharges was also properly
determined. As there are no other allegations of defects in the
order, it is affirmed in its entirety.
Finally, it is noted that, as stated in the Administrator's
order, the tenant may file a complaint to compel the owner to
offer a renewal lease, should the owner fail to comply with the
requirements of Section 2523.5 of the Code.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code, it is
ORDERED, that the tenant's petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied, and that the Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA