FH 510043 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.:  FH 510043 RO

                                                   DRO DOCKET NO.: DC 510121 R
                    SEADYKE REALTY,
                                                  TENANTS:    CARL FRYE
                                                                 AND
                                   PETITIONER               PATRICIA FREEBERRY
          ----------------------------------X                                   




            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW



          On August 12, 1991, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on July 
          8, 1991 by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, 
          Jamaica, New York concerning the housing accommodations known as 5 
          Seaman Avenue, Apartment 1G, New York, New York 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 on March 8, 
          1989 of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.

          In answer to the tenant's complaint, the owner stated in substance 
          that all rent increases collected were approved as either guideline 
          increases or increases for Major Capital Improvements (MCI's) and 
          submitted a rent history from December 1, 1983.


          In the order here under review, the Administrator determined that 
          the tenant had been overcharged in the amount of $4,753.94 
          inclusive of excess security and treble damages.
          In the appeal, the owner contends that the order should be reversed 
          because the Administrator erred in the following respects:












          FH 510043 RO


               1)   in calculating the MCI increases;

               2)   in disallowing a $5.00 per month air conditioner 
                          charge; and in assessing treble damages.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that this petition should be denied.

          Review of the record reveals that the Administrator calculated the 
          permissible MCI rent increase correctly.  Based upon various major 
          capital improvements the owner was granted, pursuant to order 
          number OM 4913 Z, a total MCI rent increase of $10.73 per each 
          $100.00 of rent paid effective December 1, 1983, collection to 
          begin January 1, 1986.  In the MCI order, the owner was advised of 
          the methodology to use in collecting the permanent rent increase 
          and the temporary arrears increase.  Proper application of the 
          schedules provided to the owner results in the correct calculation 
          of the rent in accordance with the 6% per year limitation for MCI 
          increases per year.  The rent calculation chart included with the 
          order demonstrates the proper calculation of the lawful 
          stabilization rent, taking into account all guidelines increases, 
          MCI permanent rent increases, and MCI temporary arrears increases.  
          Six percent of the permanent increase ($21.00) was included in the 
          lawful stabilization rent in January 1, 1986 and the remainder of 
          the permanent increase ($16.56) was included in January 1987.  
          Temporary arrears increases, each of which was collectible for only 
          twelve months, were included in January 1, 1986 ($21.00), January 
          1, 1987 ($21.00), January 1, 1988 ($21.00), and in January 1989 
          ($15.23).  In accordance with the Rent Stabilization Code, no 
          further rent increases were permitted during the period at issue.  
          The Commissioner notes that the Administrator correctly limited the 
          legal stabilization rent to the rent charged by the owner in those 
          instances where the rent charged was less than could have been 
          charged.

          Pursuant to Supplement Number 1 to Operational Bulletin 84-4, an 
          owner may charge a tenant $5.00 per month per air conditioner, 
          where the tenant installs his own air conditioner, which protrudes 
          beyond the window line, and pays for his own electricity and the 
          installation of the air conditioner will result in damages to the 
          owner's property.  This charge applied to air conditioners 
          installed on and after October 1, 1985.  Since the instant air 
          conditioner was installed in 1984 but the owner did not seek 
          payment until June 1, 1986, the owner is regarded as having waived 
          the increase and was correctly precluded from collecting this 
          amount.

          Section 26-516 of the Rent Stabilization Law imposes a penalty of 
          treble damages for all willful overcharges.  The statute creates a 
          presumption of willfulness overcome only by the owner affirmatively 
          showing non-willfulness by a preponderance of the evidence.  Since, 






          FH 510043 RO

          in the instant case, the owner did not meet its burden, the 
          Administrator did not err in assessing treble damages.

          Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator 
          correctly established the lawful stabilization rent at $516.47 as 
          of December 1, 1990 and correctly directed a refund of $4,753.94 
          inclusive of excess security and 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 in the same 
          manner as a judgment.

          Since the complaining tenant has vacated the subject premises, a 
          copy of this order is being sent to the current tenant.

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

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



          ISSUED:

                                                  ------------------------
                                                  JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                  Acting Deputy Commissioner
           
             
                                             






    

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