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. FF610010RO
: DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
Mihill Perlleshi, DOCKET NO. CJ610533R
TENANT: Patricia Zito
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 3, 1991, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition for
Administrative Review against an order issued on May 15, 1991, by the
Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York,
concerning the housing accommodations known as 2205 Wallace Avenue,
Bronx, New York, Apartment No. 2C, wherein the Administrator determined
that the owner had overcharged the tenant.
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 October 9, 1988 when the tenant filed
a complaint of rent overcharge. The tenant alleged that the owner was
collecting additional rent for new windows without authorization and
that she believed that based upon the prior tenant's rent, the rent
charged was excessive.
In response, the owner stated that the rent being collected was within
rent guidelines and included a charge for a new floor.
Subsequently, the owner stated that he had installed a new refrigerator
and a new stove in the subject apartment, accounting for a subsequent
In reply, the tenant asserted that she believed that a new floor had not
been installed and that the bill submitted by the owner was spurious.
The tenant admitted that the appliances had been installed but expressed
doubt as to whether the price or bill submitted was genuine.
In the order here under appeal, the Administrator determined that the
owner had overcharged the tenant and directed the owner to refund an
overcharge of $19,292.53 inclusive of interest, treble damages and
In the appeal, the owner contends that considering all allowable
guideline increases and the charge for improvements there was no
overcharge but if any overcharge is found, it would be the result of a
miscalculation and not willfulness.
The tenant contends that the owner's contentions are false and that the
overcharge is willful.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be denied.
Section 2522.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code provides that an owner
is entitled to a rent increase where there had been a substantial
increase of dwelling space or an increase in the services, or
installation of new equipment or improvements provided in or to the
tenant's housing accommodation, or written tenant consent to the rent
increase if the housing accommodation is not vacant at this time of the
Review of the record confirms that the owner did not submit proof of
tenant consent to any of the improvements allegedly made in the subject
apartment while the tenant herein was in occupancy. Further, the tenant
denies that a new floor was even installed. Accordingly, the
Administrator correctly omitted the cost of the claimed improvements
from the legal rent.
Section 2526.1 of the Code presumes that all overcharges are willful and
treble damages must be imposed unless the owner proves by a
preponderance of the evidence that the overcharge was not willful. The
Commissioner finds that the owner has not proved that the overcharge was
not willful and accordingly, the imposition of treble damages was
The owner is directed to reflect the findings and determinations made in
this order on all future registration statements, including those for
the current year if not already filed, citing this order as the basis
for the change. Registration statements already on file, however,
should not be amended to reflect the findings and determinations made in
this order. The owner is further directed to adjust subsequent rents to
an amount no greater than that determined by this order plus any lawful
increases.An examination of the record in this case discloses that
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 the
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabilization
Law and Code, it is
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.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA