FG 210176 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

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          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE    ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: FG 210176 RO 
                                                
            ALEKSANDRA CHODOWIEC,                DISTRICT RENT ORDER
                                                 DOCKET NO.: CF 210059-R  
                                PETITIONER     
          ----------------------------------X                           
            
            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On July 18, 1991 the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition 
          for Administrative Review against an order issued on June 21, 1991 
          by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street,  Jamaica,  New
          York concerning housing accommodations known as 161  Java  Street,
          Brooklyn, New York, Apartment 8.

          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 commenced on June 3, 1988 by the tenant filing 
          a complaint of rent overcharge.  The tenant took occupancy of  the
          subject apartment pursuant to a lease commencing July 15, 1980 and 
          expiring July 15, 1981 at a monthly rent of $180.00.

          In the herein appealed order, the Rent  Administrator  established
          the legal stabilized rent based on a finding that  the  owner  had
          failed to  submit  a  complete  rental  history  for  the  subject
          apartment, including proof of initial registration, and directed a 
          refund of $36,607.54,  including  treble  damages  on  overcharges
          collected after April 1, 1984, to the tenant.

          In this petition, the owner contends that she never  received  the
          May  16,  1991  information  request  referred  to  in  the   Rent
          Administrator's order and  does  not  know  what  information  was
          requested.  The owner further contends,  in  substance,  that  the
          initial  registration  was   filed,   that   costs   for   various
          improvements and new equipment should  be  included  in  the  rent
          calculation, that the assessment of treble damages  is  prohibited
          when equipment  costs  are  unsubstantiated,  that  there  was  no
          willfulness involved and that the tenant was in fact  undercharged
          and therefore, there was no overcharge.

          On  appeal,  the  owner  submitted  copies  of  contracts,  bills,
          invoices  and  cancelled  checks  to  substantiate  the  costs  of
          improvements and new equipment, copies of  apartment  registration
          forms dating from 1984 and copies of leases.
          In response to the petition the tenant asserts, in substance, that 
          the owner has not submitted sufficient proof of  payment  for  the
          claimed improvements, that certain improvements were building-wide 
          improvements  for  which  the  owner   should   have   filed   MCI
          applications, that bathroom improvements were made without  tenant






          FG 210176 RO

          consent and that the owner did not properly register  the  subject
          apartment until 1988.

          In reply to the tenant's response,  the  owner  raised  complaints
          about the tenant's use of an air conditioner and  washing  machine
          and the power consumption in the subject apartment.

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

          A review of the record indicates that on May 16, 1991,  the  owner
          was served with a final notice of pending  default  advising  that
          she had failed to provide the required evidence and providing  her
          a final opportunity to do so.   There  is  no  indication  in  the
          record that said notice was  returned  from  the  Post  Office  as
          undelivered.

          Regarding the owner's  contention  that  she  did  not  know  what
          information was requested, the record  shows  that  on  March  13,
          1991, the owner was served with a notice directing her  to  submit
          the following:

               1.  A copy of the initial registration for the subject   
                 apartment with proof of service on the tenant in     
               occupancy on April 1, 1984;

               2.  proof of filing of the 1985 annual registration;

               3.  documentation to substantiate claimed improvements   
                 and/or new equipment installed in the subject     
               apartment;

               4.  Major Capital Improvement (MCI) information; and

               5.  a rental history dating from April 1, 1984.


          The Commissioner notes that the owner responded to the  March  13,
          1991 notice by submitting copies of leases dating  from  July  15,
          1986 and copies of registration forms for  the  subject  apartment
          dating from 1987.

          Regarding the owner's contention  that  the  initial  registration
          form for the  subject  apartment  had  been  filed,  DHCR  records
          indicate that the  form  filed  contained  erroneous  information,
          i.e., the tenant named in the initial registration is not the 






          FG 210176 RO

          subject tenant,  who  took  occupancy  of  the  subject  apartment
          pursuant to a lease commencing July 15, 1980.  The copy  submitted
          by the owner reveals the same information.  Accordingly, the  Rent
          Administrator properly determined that the subject  apartment  was
          not initially registered as required and, based thereon,  properly
          established the legal regulated rent.

          Regarding the owner's contention that costs for  improvements  and
          new equipment should be included in the  overcharge  calculations,
          the Commissioner notes that during the proceeding before the  Rent
          Administrator the owner was directed to  submit  documentation  to
          substantiate the claimed improvements  and/or  new  equipment  and
          failed to do so.  The owner submits documentation  on  appeal  but
          fails  to  adequately  explain  the  failure   to   produce   said
          documentation below.  Therefore, the owner will not  be  permitted
          to submit this documentation for the first time on appeal.

          The Commissioner notes that even if the documentation submitted by 
          the owner  were  acceptable  on  appeal,  it  is  insufficient  to
          establish the owner's entitlement to rent increases:  there is  no
          indication that the owner received written consent from the tenant 
          for various claimed improvements (bathroom, kitchen, windows) made 
          in the subject apartment during the  tenant's  occupancy;  various
          claimed improvements (stucco work, water main work, replacement of 
          building wall) are  not  related  to  the  subject  apartment  and
          therefore, cost related thereto are not a  factor  in  determining
          the subject tenant's rent; costs of various  claimed  improvements
          (installation  of  vents,  steel  doors)  are   not   sufficiently
          substantiated.

          Regarding the owner's contention that  the  assessment  of  treble
          damages   is   prohibited   when   new   equipment    costs    are
          unsubstantiated, the Commissioner notes that  in  this  case,  the
          owner has failed to submit documentation sufficient  to  establish
          entitlement to rent increases and therefore, no rent increase  can
          be  authorized  for  any  such  installations.   The  Commissioner
          further notes that a minor portion of the overcharge  was  due  to
          the failure to substantiate the claimed installations  and  is  of
          the opinion that the  owner  has  failed  to  establish  that  the
          overcharge was not willful.   Therefore,  the  Commissioner  finds
          that the Rent Administrator properly imposed treble damages.

          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 as  a  judgment
          or not in excess of twenty percent per month thereof may be offset 
          against any rent thereafter due the owner.

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





          FG 210176 RO


          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.

          ISSUED:




                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner


    

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