OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION 
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK  11433


          APPEAL OF                               ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                                  DOCKET NO. FC910011RO
                    Karl   &   Elizabeth   Marston         DISTRICT    RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S    DOCKET
                                                  NO. NEI-9-1-0329/R


          On February 26, 1991, the above-named landlords filed a  petition
          for administrative review of an order issued on January 25,  1991
          by  a  District  Rent  Administrator   concerning   the   housing
          accommodations known as 84  Winthrop  Avenue,  Apartment  6,  New
          Rochelle, New York, wherein the Administrator determined that  an
          overcharge had occurred.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in  the  record
          and has carefully examined that portion of  the  record  relevant
          to the issues raised in the petition for review.

          This proceeding was commenced on  September  20,  1990  upon  the
          filing of a general complaint of rent overcharge by the tenants.

          On October 22,  1990,  the  Division  of  Housing  and  Community
          Renewal (DHCR) sent a copy  of  the  tenants'  complaint  to  the
          landlords with instructions to file an answer within twenty days. 
          On November 15, 1990, DHCR sent a "final notice" to the landlords 
          to allow them a further opportunity to answer the  complaint  and
          submit the appropriate documentation.

          DHCR received no answer from the landlords.

          In the order here under review, the Administrator determined that 
          the landlords had defaulted.  The lawful stabilization  rent  was
          established as $396.48 based on the lowest registered rent of the 
          only registration on record with the agency (1988).  The District 
          No. FC919911RO                - 2 -

          Administrator directed the landlords to refund $22,914.00 in
          overcharges, which included treble damages  for  the  overcharges
          collected for the two years preceding the Administrator's order.

          In the petition for administrative review, the landlords  request
          reversal of the  Administrator's  order.   First,  the  landlords
          allege that an answer was filed in the proceeding  below  and  it
          included  all  the  registration  statements  since  1984.   They
          allege that, in  answering  the  complaint,  they  followed  oral
          instructions from the District Rent  Office  as  a  result  of  a
          telephone call. Copies of all  the  registration  statements  are
          included with the petition for  review.   Second,  the  landlords
          assert that the subject  apartment  had  previously  been  rented
          under the Section 8 program and that after  the  previous  tenant
          vacated, extensive improvements  were  made  and  the  Section  8
          inspector advised the landlords that they  could  charge  $700.00
          per month.  The landlords further assert that  when  the  current
          tenants took occupancy they  falsely  represented  themselves  as
          eligible for the Section 8 program.  The landlords  contend  that
          the overcharge and treble damages constitute an  unjust  windfall
          to the tenants resulting from the tenants' misrepresentation.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of  the  opinion
          that this petition should be remanded to the  Rent  Administrator
          for further processing.

          The Commissioner finds that answers and  copies  of  registration
          forms were filed by the landlords  in  accordance  with  oral  or
          written instruction from the District Rent Office but  that  they
          failed to reach the file in this  proceeding.   Accordingly,  the
          Commissioner is of the opinion  that  the  proceeding  should  be
          remanded to the District Rent Administrator for  the  purpose  of
          considering the landlords' and the tenants' submissions on  their
          merits and for the  issuance  of  a  new  order  determining  the

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Emergency Tenant Protection Act 
          and the Tenant Protection Regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that  this  proceeding  be,  and  the  same  hereby  is,
          remanded  to  the  District  Rent   Administrator   for   further
          processing in accordance with this order and opinion; and it is 

          FURTHER ORDERED, that the  automatic  stay  of  so  much  of  the
          District Rent Administrator's order as directed a refund be,  and
          the same hereby is, continued until a new order  is  issued  upon

          NOTE:  The determination in  the  District  Rent  Administrator's
          order as to the rent effective February 1,  1991  and  thereafter
          was not  stayed  by  the  filing  of  the  instant  petition  for
          administrative review, and remains in full force and effect until 

          Docket No. FC910011RO
                                        - 3 -

          a new order is issued upon remand.


                                             ELLIOT SANDER

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