FI610044RO

                                  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  S.J.R. NO. 7275
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.FI610044RO
                                              :  DRO DOCKET NO.ZBJ610360R
                H.B. ASSOCIATES                  TENANT: NAN CHENG

                                PETITIONER    : 
          ------------------------------------X                             
             ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


               On September 6, 1991, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on August 
          22, 1991 and amended on November 29, 1991, by the Rent 
          Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York, 
          concerning the housing accommodations known as 1134 Stratford 
          Avenue, Bronx, New York, Apartment No. 4G.  In the original order a 
          rent overcharge of $4,546.20 was found.  In the amended order which 
          stated that the earlier issue date of August 22, 1991 was in full 
          force and effect, the same amount of rent overcharge was found but 
          the order included an explanation of why treble damages were not 
          assessed and corrected the dates of overcharge from August 1, 1989 
          through July 31, 1991 to August 1, 1986 through July 31, 1991.

               Subsequently the tenant filed an Article 78 Petition in the 
          nature of mandamus requesting that the owner's petition be 
          expeditiously determined.

               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 
          warranted.

               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 tenant's filing 
          of a rent overcharge complaint in October, 1987 in which the tenant 
          stated that he first moved to the subject apartment in August 1986 
          at a rental of $325.00 per month.

               In answer to the application, the owner submitted a rental 
          history and stated that it had renovated the bathroom when a prior 
          tenant moved out and charged a $32.48 rent increase for such 
          renovation.  No proof of the renovation costs were submitted.

               In Order Number ZBJ610360R issued on August 22, 1991 and 
          amended on November 29, 1991, the Rent Administrator determined that 









          FI610044RO




          a rent overcharge of $4,546.20 had occurred including interest and 
          excess security during the period from August 1, 1986 through July 
          31, 1991.

               In this petition, the owner alleges in substance that it did 
          not charge prior tenant Bun Touch (incorrectly designated as T. Bun 
          in the Rent Administrator's order) a vacancy allowance and the Rent 
          Administrator's order incorrectly reflects such allowance.  In 
          support of such contention, the owner submits a copy of its October 
          2, 1990 answer in which it is stated that the rent prior to 
          occupancy by tenant Touch was $240.75 and to this was added $32.48 
          for the bathroom renovation and 4% for a one year lease making 
          Touch's rent $284.16 as of December 1, 1985.  The owner then states 
          that when the tenant herein moved in, he was charged the 7 1/2% 
          vacancy allowance and 4% guideline allowance plus $15.00 low rent 
          allowance pursuant to Guideline 17 so that there was no rent 
          overcharge.

               In answer to the petition, the tenant stated in substance that 
          prior tenant Padilla allegedly singed a lease renewal on or about 
          November 30, 1985 and that tenant Touch allegedly signed a lease for 
          the same apartment on December 2, 1985 and that the resulting 
          overcharge is willful so that treble damages should have been 
          imposed.

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

               It is noted that the Touch lease and the vacancy lease for the 
          tenant herein occurred within the same guidelines period - 
          Guidelines 17.  The compounding of guidelines increases during the 
          same guidelines period is prohibited.  In addition only one vacancy 
          allowance may be applied during the Guidelines 17 period (October 1, 
          1985 through September 30, 1986).  Further the owner did not submit 
          documentary evidence to sustain its position that a bathroom 
          renovation occurred immediately prior to the Touch tenancy.  
          Accordingly, the Rent Administrator correctly determined the initial 
          lawful stabilization rent for the tenant herein to be $283.44 - 
          11.5% (4% plus 7.5% vacancy allowance) above the $240.75 rent in 
          effect on September 30, 1985 when prior tenant Padilla was in 
          occupancy.  The owner does not receive credit for the Touch lease 
          since that would result in the compounding of guideline increases 
          during the same guidelines period.

               With regard to the tenant's contention that the imposition of 
          treble damages is warranted, such issue cannot be properly 
          considered herein since the tenant did not file his own petition for 
          review.  However, the Commissioner notes, contrary to the tenant's 
          allegation, no rent increase was based on the alleged Padilla 
          renewal lease said by the tenant to be signed about November 30, 
          1985.  Rather the rent increase for the complaining tenant's initial 






          FI610044RO


          lease was based on the Padilla lease in effect from December 1, 1983 
          to November 30, 1985 at a rental of $240.75 per month.  Further 
          pursuant to Policy Statement 89-2 treble damages are generally not 
          imposed if hypertechnical errors such as compounding guidelines 
          increases during the same guidelines period have occurred.

               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.

               The Commissioner has determined in this Order and Opinion that 
          the owner collected overcharges of $4,546.20.  This Order may, upon 
          expiration of the period for seeking review of this Order and 
          Opinion pursuant to Article Seventy-eight of the Civil Practice Law 
          and Rules, be filed and enforced as a judgment or not in excess of 
          twenty percent per month of the overcharge may be offset against any 
          rent thereafter due the owner.  Where the tenant credits the 
          overcharge, the tenant may add to the overcharge, or where the 
          tenant files this Order as a judgment, the County Clerk may add to 
          the overcharge, interest at the rate payable on a judgment pursuant 
          to Section 5004 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules from the 
          issuance date of the Rent Administrator's Order to the issuance date 
          of the Commissioner's Order.

               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.

          ISSUED



                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                     















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