GA 210020 RO
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.: GA 210020 RO
DRO DOCKET NO.: DI 210411 R
LULA BELLE BRANCH,
TENANT: DIANE ROBINSON
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On January 10, 1992, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on
January 3, 1992, by a Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodations known as 393 Jerome Avenue, Brooklyn, New York,
Apartment No. 6, wherein the Rent Administrator determined that the
owner had overcharged the tenant.
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
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 filing of a rent
overcharge complaint by the tenant on September 26, 1989. The
owner was served with a copy of the tenant's complaint and was
directed to submit a complete rental history.
The owner submitted a lease history commencing only with the
complainant's vacancy lease, effective September 5, 1987 and
indicated that the tenant's initial rent was calculated based
on a September 30, 1986 rent for the subject apartment of $275.00.
The owner stated that the leases of tenants who have vacated the
premises are thrown away. The owner also submitted bills for
certain apartment improvements made during a prior tenancy and
prior to the occupancy of the complainant.
GA 210020 RO
In Order Number DI 210411-R, the Rent Administrator established the
lawful stabilized rent as $248.47 effective September 5, 1987,
determined that the tenant had been overcharged and directed a
refund to the tenant of $9,763.65, including treble damages.
In this petition, the owner asserts that she never received a copy
of the tenant's complaint. The owner details the lease history of
the tenants in occupancy since the 1985 registration. According to
the owner's calculations, the complainant actually paid less than
the lawful rent in her vacancy lease, which would have been
$306.11. The owner then admits to two subsequent overcharges, one
of which was refunded to the tenant (the owner does not specify the
amount), and a later one of $5.90 per month, which she states was
unintentional and should not result in treble damages.
The tenant's answer is primarily concerned with many of the claimed
improvements to the apartment, which the tenant contends were much
delayed and poorly done.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
Section 26-516 of the Rent Stabilization Law, effective April 1,
1984, requires an owner to produce rent records for the period
commencing 4 years prior to the most recent registration.
In the instant case, the owner could produce no leases earlier than
the complainant's vacancy lease, commencing on September 5, 1987,
which is only two years prior to the complaint of rent overcharge.
Accordingly, the Administrator properly granted no increases to the
1985 base rent (guidelines increases or improvement increases)
until the commencement of the complainant's tenancy.
The Commissioner further finds that the owner's contention that
overcharges were not willful is not supported by any evidence in
Regarding the owner's contention that she never received a copy of
the tenant's complaint, the record in this case indicates that the
owner was served with a copy of the tenant's complaint on October
27, 1989, and that the owner returned it to the DHCR along with her
answer to the complaint on the merits on November 10, 1989.
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.
GA 210020 RO
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner