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. FL-110156-RO
: DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
DOCKET NO. FB-110336-R
TENANT: Brandon Fortes
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On December 17, 1991, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition
for Administrative Review against an order issued on November 13, 1991,
by the Rent Administrator, Gertz Plaza, New York, concerning the housing
accommodations known as 162-05 89th Street, Jamaica, New York, Apartment
No. 6G, wherein the Rent Administrator determined that the owner had
overcharged the tenant.
The Administrative Appeal is being determined pursuant to the provisions
of Section 2526.1 of the Rent Stabilization Code.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's order was
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 of a rent
overcharge complaint by the tenant in February 1991. The owner was
served with a copy of the tenant's complaint. The owner stated in
substance that he installed new equipment in the tenant's apartment
which entitled him to charge the tenant with an increase in rent.
In Order Number FB-110336-R, the Rent Administrator established the
lawful stabilized rent as $350.00 effective April 1, 1985, determined
that the tenant had been overcharged and directed a refund to the tenant
of $15,999.07 including treble damages on overcharges collected on and
after April 1, 1984.
In this petition, the owner contends in substance that he was entitled
to an allowance of 1/40th of the cost of renovation, improvements and
new equipment totalling $9,042.12 which the Administrator did not allow
and that even if he was not entitled to an increase, treble damages
should not have be imposed as he thought he was entitled to charge the
tenant for the new equipment.
In answer to the owner's petition, the tenant stated in substance that
the owner never installed the new equipment or performed any
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be denied.
A hearing was held on August 6, 1992 before Administrative Law Judge
Suzanne McGrathan. The A.L.J. found that most of the work claimed by
the owner to have been done in 1988 was not done at that time, or if
done at that time was so poorly done as to not warrant any rent
adjustment. In view of the owner's misrepresentation as to the work
done in 1988 and in accordance with Advisory Opinion 89-2, the owner is
denied any rent adjustment for the alleged renovation. In addition the
Commissioner finds the overcharge to be willful and therefore the
Administrator correctly imposed treble damages.
Accordingly, the Rent Administrator's order was warranted.
Because this determination concerns lawful rents only through
November 30, 1991, the owner is cautioned to adjust subsequent rents to
an amount no greater than that determined by the Rent Administrator's
order plus any lawful increases, and to register any adjusted rents with
this order and opinion being given as the explanation for the
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 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 provisions of the Rent Stabilization
Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and the same
hereby is, denied, and, that the order of the Rent Administrator be, and
the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner