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

          APPEALS OF                             DOCKET NO.GH410052RT,
                                              :            GH410032RO
               KRISTIN SEKORA                                                 
               AND                               DRO DOCKET NO.ZEC410030RP    
               G.T.S. REALTY CORP.                             TA11218,       
                               PETITIONERS    : 

               On August 12, 1992, the above-named petitioner-owner and tenant 
          filed Petitions for Administrative Review against an order issued on  
          July 10, 1992, by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, 
          Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known as   
          347 East 61st Street, New York, New York, Apartment No. 4RW 
          wherein the Rent Administrator determined that the owner had 
          overcharged the tenant.
               The Commissioner notes that this proceeding was filed prior to 
          April 1, 1984.  Sections 2526.1 (a) (4)  and 2521.1 (d) of the Rent 
          Stabilization Code (effective May 1, 1987) governing rent overcharge 
          and fair market rent proceedings provide that determination of these 
          matters be based upon the law or code provisions in effect on March 
          31, 1984.  Therefore, unless otherwise indicated, reference to 
          Sections of the Rent Stabilization Code (Code) contained herein are 
          to the Code in effect on April 30, 1987.

               The Administrative Appeals are being determined pursuant to the 
          provisions of Section 42A of the former 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 appeals.  

               This proceeding was originally commenced by the filing in May, 
          1983 of a fair market rent adjustment application and a rent 
          overcharge complaint by the tenant.  In the overcharge complaint, 
          the tenant stated that the subject apartment had been decontrolled 
          in 1975 and submitted rent records to that effect.

               Only a copy of the tenant's overcharge complaint and a copy of 
          the Rent Administrator's order were sent to the owner at its correct 
          GH410032RO, GH410052RT

          address - 427 East 74th Street.  Other mailings sent to the owner 
          from DHCR during the course of the proceeding including a Final 
          Notice of Pending Default were sent to the owner at an incorrect 
          address - 1525 York Avenue - and were returned by the Post Office as 
          undeliverable.  There was no record of any response from the owner 
          in the proceeding before the Rent Administrator.

               In an order issued on November 3, 1986 under Docket TA 11218 
          and 72401G, CDR 25,932, the Rent Administrator determined that the 
          fair market rent was $215.45 effective May 1, 1981, the date of 
          initial occupancy by the tenant herein, found that the tenant had 
          paid excess rent of $11,724.90 from May 1, 1981 through August 31, 
          1986 and directed that this amount be refunded to the tenant.

               The owner filed an appeal against the November 3, 1986 order 
          under docket number AL410224RO.  On March 1, 1990, the Commissioner 
          issued and Order and Opinion Remanding Proceeding in order to afford 
          the owner an opportunity to respond to the tenant's fair market rent 
          appeal in that there was no evidence to show that the owner had been 
          given such opportunity in the earlier proceeding.

               Upon remand the owner was directed to submit copies of all 
          leases  or rent ledgers from June 30, 1974 or the date on which the 
          last rent controlled tenant vacated the subject apartment, whichever 
          occurred later.  The owner was also afforded the opportunity to 
          submit rents of comparable apartments.

               In response to the DHCR directive, the owner cited some 
          apartments it alleged were comparable, but did not submit the 
          required rental history.  DHCR rent records for the subject 
          apartment disclose that the subject apartment was decontrolled from 
          Rent Control on February 3, 1975 so that the owner was required to 
          submit a rental history from that date.

               In Order Number ZEC410030R/P, appealed herein, the Rent 
          Administrator determined that due to the owner's failure to submit 
          a complete rental history, the owner had collected a rent overcharge 
          of $16,988.09  from May 1, 1981 through August 31, 1991, including 
          interest on that portion of the overcharge occurring on and after 
          April 1, 1984.

               In the owner's petition, the owner contends in substance that
          the Rent Administrator improperly used the default formula to 
          establish a rent overcharge but instead should have processed the 
          complaint as a fair market rent appeal as directed in the 
          Commissioner's Order Remanding the Proceeding.  The owner also 
          points out that the tenant meets the criteria for filing a fair 
          market rent appeal. 

               In the tenant's  petition, the tenant contends in substance 
          that the imposition of treble damages rather than interest was 

          GH410032RO, GH410052RT

          GH410032RO, GH410052RT
               The Commissioner is of the opinion that these petitions should 
          be denied.

               Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code requires that 
          an owner retain complete records for each stabilized apartment in 
          effect from June 30, 1974 to date and produce them to the DHCR upon 
          demand.  If the apartment was decontrolled from the Rent Control Law 
          after June 30, 1974, the owner must provide satisfactory documentary 
          evidence of the apartment's date of decontrol and submit a rental 
          history from that date.

               In the instant case, the owner has not provided a complete 
          rental history as mandated by Section 42A.  Further since the tenant 
          herein was clearly not the first rent stabilized tenant as shown by 
          the 1975 Report of Decontrol, it was proper to treat this proceeding 
          as a rent overcharge proceeding rather than as a fair market rent 
          appeal proceeding.  The tenant filed both an overcharge complaint 
          and a fair market rent appeal and the owner was aware of both 
          actions by the tenant and afforded an opportunity to submit a 
          complete rental history.  The Rent Administrator was not precluded 
          by the Commissioner's Order Remanding the Proceeding from processing 
          the complaint as an overcharge complaint and it is noted that it is 
          the usual procedure where both an pvercharge complaint and a fair 
          market rent appeal are filed, to process cases as default 
          overcharges where owners fail to submit a complete rental history 
          when the complaining tenant is not the first rent stabilized tenant.  

               With regard to the tenant's petition, the imposition of treble 
          damages is not warranted since the tenant filed her overcharge 
          complaint prior to April 1, 1984, and the owner was never served at 
          its correct address with any notice that treble damages would be 
          imposed for willful overcharges.  Accordingly, the Rent 
          Administrator's order was warranted.

               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 

               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 these petitions for administrative review be, and 
          the same hereby are, denied, and, that the order of the Rent 

          GH410032RO, GH410052RT

          Administrator be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner



TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name