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

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. GA610013RO
                                              :  DRO DOCKET NO. ZAE610155R
               3333 OPERATING CORP.              TENANT: DAVID BROOKNER       

                                PETITIONER    : 

               On January 2, 1992, the above-named petitioner-garage operator 
          filed a Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued 
          on November 29, 1991, by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall 
          Street, Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations 
          known as 3333 Henry Hudson Parkway, Bronx, New York, Apartment No. 
          18K, wherein the Rent Administrator determined that the two garage 
          spaces utilized by the tenant - space 308 and 109 were subject to 
          the Rent Stabilization Law, found a rent overcharge, and directed 
          the owner to roll back the rent to the lawful stabilization rent, 
          and refund or credit excess rent paid including treble damages on 
          overcharges collected on and after April 1, 1984.  A total 
          overcharge of $6,345.41 was found for garage space 308 and a total 
          overcharge of $1,372.73 was found for garage space 109.

               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.  

               In this petition, the garage operator alleges in substance that 
          the tenant did not file his overcharge complaint until February, 
          1987 and that treble damages may not be based upon an overcharge 
          occurring more than two years before the complaint was filed; and 
          that the tenant gave up his garage spaces before the deemed leases 
          for such spaces had concluded so that the tenant should remain 
          responsible for the garage spaces until the end of the deemed lease 
          terms.  In addition, the garage operator repeated all objections it 
          made in the previously decided petition - CH610001RO et. al. - 
          wherein a final order was issued on June 18, 1992. 

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be 
          denied and that the Rent Administrator's order should be modified.

               With regard to the specific allegations raised by the garage 
          operator in this proceeding, the record shows that the tenant in 


          fact filed his overcharge complaint in 1986 and not in 1987 as 
          alleged by the garage operator so that treble damages were correctly 
          imposed from April 1, 1984.  In addition overcharges were not 
          imposed for periods after the tenant had vacated the garage spaces 
          and there is no provision in the Rent Stabilization Law and Code to 
          impose garage charges for a deemed lease period when the tenant has 
          already vacated such garage spaces.  Accordingly, these contentions 
          of the garage operator must be denied.

               With respect to the other contentions of the garage operator 
          which were also raised in CH610001RO et. al., the Commissioner will 
          decide such issues the same as in the determination in that 
          proceeding.  The Rent Administrator's order finding a rent 
          overcharge and awarding treble damages is modified only to the 
          extent of deleting reference to the building receiving Section 421 
          tax benefits and deleting the cooperative corporation as an owner.  
          In all other respects the Rent Administrator's order is affirmed.  
          The garage operator's argument that garages are not subject to 
          regulation is denied based on a finding that from 1973 to 1980 there 
          was at least indirect ownership between the building owner and the 
          garage operator and a subsequent transfer of the garage operation to 
          an independent contractor did not remove the garage from rent 
          stabilization regulation; that the independent contractor and the 
          cooperative corporation are not liable for refunding the overcharge 
          although the current and former owners may seek reimbursement from 
          the garage operator in an action commenced in a court of competent 
          jurisdiction; that the former building owner, managing agent, co-op 
          sponsor and holder of unsold shares are jointly and severally liable 
          for refunding the overcharge; that the treble damages award is 
          affirmed on a finding that the overcharges were willful and the 
          alleged good faith belief that the garage spaces were not subject to 
          rent stabilization was not reasonable; and that the use of deemed 
          leases by the Rent Administrator is affirmed because the increases 
          in the garage rents did not coincide with apartment leases.

               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 

               The Commissioner has determined in this Order and Opinion that 
          Ambassador Associates, Hampton Management Corp., and Whitehall 
          Realty Co. are jointly and severally liable for overcharges of 
          $7,718.14 ($6,345.41 for garage space 308 plus $1,372.73 for garage 
          space 109).  This Order may, upon expiration of the period for 
          seeking review of this Order and Opinion pursuant to Article 


          Seventy-eight of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, be filed and 
          enforced as a judgment or not in excess of twenty percent per month 
          of the overcharge may be offset against any rent thereafter due the 
          owner.  Where the tenant credits the overcharge, the tenant may add 
          to the overcharge, or where the tenant files this Order as a 
          judgment, the County Clerk may add to the overcharge, interest at 
          the rate payable on a judgment pursuant to section 5004 of the Civil 
          Practice Law and Rules from the issuance date of the Rent 
          Administrator's Order to the issuance date of the Commissioner's 

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code, it is

               ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and 
          the same hereby is, denied, and, that the order of the Rent 
          Administrator be, and the same hereby is, modified to delete 
          reference to the subject building being a Section 421 building and 
          to remove the "Whitehall Tenants Corporation" as an "owner" from the 
          caption of the order.  It is noted that the garage operator 
          appealing herein was never included in the caption of the order as 
          an owner.  In all other respects, the Rent Administrator's order is 


                                          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