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.: GJ410049RO
Paley Management Corp., DRO DOCKET NO.: ZBG410041R
TENANT: Steven Levingston
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On October 19, 1992, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition
for Administrative Review against an order issued on April 26, 1990 by
the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York,
concerning the housing accommodations known as 324 East 84th Street,
New York, New York, Apartment No. 5C, wherein the Administrator
determined that the tenant had been overcharged and directed the owner
to refund an overcharge of $15,854.08 inclusive of excess security and
This petition is deemed timely filed because the record shows that the
Division failed to serve the order on the owner at the owner's correct
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 in the administrative appeal.
This proceeding was commenced on July 10, 1987 when the tenant filed an
overcharge complaint. The tenant stated that he had taken occupancy on
May 1, 1986 pursuant to a one year lease and that he wished to verify
that he was paying the legal rent.
In response to the complaint, the owner stated that the tenant had
received a Rent Stabilization Rider showing the rent paid by the prior
tenant and further noted that the tenant's rent was below the legally
permissible amount. The owner submitted a copy of the 1986 apartment
registration listing and a copy of the Rent Stabilization Rider, both of
which stated the rent of the prior tenant.
On February 12, 1990 and on March 12, 1990, requests for leases from
April 1, 1984 to the present were sent to the owner at 1220 Lexington
Avenue, the address listed by the tenant in his overcharge complaint.
There is no evidence in the record of a response by the owner.
In the order issued on April 26, 1990, the Administrator determined
based on the owner's failure to submit prior leases that the tenant had
been overcharged in the amount of $15,854.08 inclusive of treble damages
and excess security.
In its appeal, the owner contends that the order improperly defaults the
owner as failing to respond to a request for information. The owner
never received either request because the Division sent the requests to
an old invalid address instead of the owner's last registered address.
With its appeal, the owner submits a complete lease history which, the
owner contends, shows that there was no overcharge. The owner further
contends that even if an overcharge were to be found, treble damages are
inappropriate because the owner was not provided with an opportunity to
rebut the finding of willfulness.
Although afforded the opportunity to do so, the tenant did not respond
to the petition.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be granted.
The record reveals that the owner changed its location during the
processing of this proceeding and registered its new address with the
Division. Nevertheless, no correspondence in the proceeding was sent to
the correct address. Accordingly, to safeguard the owner's due process
rights, its appeal is deemed timely. Similarly, and for good cause
shown, the Commissioner accepts the lease history submitted with the
appeal. Since perusal of the leases submitted demonstrate that all rent
increases since April 1, 1984 were permissible under the Rent
Stabilization Code, the Commissioner finds that there was no rent
If the owner has already complied with the Rent Administrator's order
and there are arrears due to the owner as a result of the instant
determination, the tenant is permitted to pay off the arrears in 24
equal monthly installments. Should the tenant vacate after the issuance
of this order or have already vacated, said arrears shall be payable
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted and the
Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, revoked.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA