Adm. Rev. Docket No.: GC910166RO

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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. GC910166RO

                                                  DISTRICT RENT              
                                  PETITIONER  :   DOCKET NO. EFJ910297R
                                                  TENANT: RALPH G. PERSICO

          The above-named petitioner-landlord timely filed a petition for 
          administrative review against an order issued on January 31, 1992, 
          by a Rent Administrator, 55 Church Street, White Plains, New York, 
          concerning housing accommodations known as apartment 2E, located at 
          485 White Plains Road, Eastchester, New York, wherein the 
          Administrator determined the proceeding brought on by the tenant's 
          overcharge complaint, finding that the landlord had not registered 
          the subject apartment for the period April 1, 1984 through March 
          31, 1991 and directed the petitioner-landlord to refund $ 5,823.34, 
          including interest from April 1, 1984.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and 
          has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the 
          issues raised by the Petition.

          In the Petition the landlord asserts, in substance, that:  all 
          required registration statements were filed, but that even if they 
          had not been filed (as the Administrator claims) : a) the rent 
          should not have been rolled back to the April 1, 1984 level as the 
          the Administrator acknowledged that the apartment had been 
          registered for 1991; b) the 1984 rent was $480.00 not, as the 
          Administrator's order indicates, $458.00; and c) it is inequitable 
          for the Division to impose the penalty imposed by the Administrator 
          since landlords have not been formally notified by the Division  
          that they are definitely subject to a penalty for failure to 
          register and they have not been formally advised by the Division as 
          to what that penalty is.

          The tenant filed an answer opposing the Petition.

          Adm. Rev. Docket No.: GC910166RO

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that the Petition should be 

          The Commissioner finds that the evidence the landlord submitted 
          below to prove registration prior to 1991 did not satisfy the 
          burden of proof imposed on the owner by the weight of the 
          statements of the tenant that he had not been served with any of 
          those allegedly timely filed registration statements and the 
          Division's own records: which showed nothing prior to the 1991 
          registration followed by a mass filing in 1992 for the years 1984 
          through 1990.

          The Commissioner notes that the TPR and the ETPA provide that until 
          the back registrations are filed, the owner is barred from applying 
          for or collecting a rent in excess of the legal regulated rent in 
          effect on the date of the last preceding registration statement, 
          or, if the apartment was never registered, the legal regulated rent 
          in effect on the date the housing accommodation became subject to 
          the registration requirements; in this case, April 1, 1984. 
          Therefore, the Commissioner finds that the landlord's filing of the 
          annual registration statement for 1991 prior to the filing of the 
          initial registration statement for 1984 and the annual registration 
          statements for the years 1985 through 1990, inclusive, did not lift 
          the penalty.

          The Commissioner finds that the landlord-petitioner's arguments 
          relating to the equities of imposing the subject penalty for 
          failure to register are not tenable. The penalty is contained not 
          only in the TPR (9NYCRR2509.3), but it has been in the ETPA (Sec. 
          12-a(e); cited as Section 8632-a (e) in McKinney's Unconsolidated 
          Laws) since the passage of the Omnibus Housing Act of 1983.
          That being the case, landlords are on sufficient notice of the 
          registration requirements and the penalty for failing to comply 
          with them.

          The Commissioner notes that the landlord claims that effective 
          April 1, 1984, the rent charged and paid was increased to $480.00; 
          as the tenant's parking fee was increased in connection with the 
          tenant switching from an outdoor parking space to an indoor space; 
          and that the tenant had agreed to said rent increase in a letter 
          which had been submitted below. The Commissioner points out that, 
          assuming the truth of all of the landlord's allegations on this 
          point, the landlord still could not properly claim that the legal 
          regulated rent on April 1, 1984 was $480.00. The agreement to 
          increase the rent from $458.00 to $480.00 would only be effective 
          to increase the legal regulated rent if the Division had approved 
          that increase in an order issued upon the owner's application. The 
          Commissioner notes that the landlord did not make such an 
          application; and, therefore, the Division has not issued an order 
          granting the subject increase. Therefore, the Administrator was 

          Adm. Rev. Docket No.: GC910166RO

          correct in using $458.00 as the legal regulated rent on April 1, 

          The Commissioner notes that the tenant's answer opposing the 
          Petition contains a request that the overcharges found be increased 
          by applying the treble damages penalty to them. The Commissioner 
          notes that that application, in effect, seeks to raise an issue not 
          raised in the PAR. The Commissioner further notes that it is well 
          settled that new issues may not be raised in an answer. Therefore, 
          in the absence of the tenant's having filed a PAR against the 
          Administrator's order, the relief sought by the tenant is beyond 
          the scope of review on this appeal.

          This order may, upon the expiration of the period in which the 
          owner may institute a proceeding pursuant to Article Seventy-Eight 
          of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, be filed and enforced 
          as a judgment.
          Moreover, in light of the fact that the record herein indicates 
          that the tenant no longer occupies the subject accommodation, a 
          copy of this Order and Opinion is being sent to the present 
          occupant of the subject accommodation.  The Commissioner advises 
          the owner to update the registration statement for the subject 
          accommodation (if it has not already done so) to reflect the change 
          in occupancy and the legal regulated rent as determined in the 
          Administrator's order.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with all of the applicable laws and 
          regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that this Petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and 
          that the order of the Administrator be, and the same hereby is, 


                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Acting Deputy Commissioner



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