GJ410049RO

                                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 
      IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE    ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
      APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: GJ410049RO

           Paley Management Corp.,           DRO DOCKET NO.: ZBG410041R

                                             TENANT: Steven Levingston        

                               PETITIONER    
      ------------------------------------X                             


          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 
      treble damages.

      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 
      address.  

      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 







          GJ410049RO

      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 
      overcharge.  

      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 
      immediately.

      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.



      ISSUED:


                                                                  
                                      JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                      Deputy Commissioner
    

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