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.: HB210084RO
DOCKET NO.: EE210766S
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
AND REMANDING PROCEEDING TO ADMINISTRATOR
On February 16, 1993, the above-named petitioner-owner filed
a petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
January 13, 1993, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 255 East 18 Street, Apt. 5D, Brooklyn, NY
wherein the Administrator amended a prior order of the
Administrator issued on November 8, 1990 in order to correct a
typographical error in the mailing address of the subject
apartment. The order established the rent for the subject
apartment at $1.00 per month as of the date of a fire.
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 commenced by the filing of a complaint by
the tenant dated May 25, 1990 alleging a decrease in services as a
result of a fire in the apartment on April 9, 1990, among other
things. An inspection dated August 15, 1990 confirmed the
existence of some of the complained of conditions.
On January 11, 1993, the tenant's attorney requested that the
order be amended to correct an error in the address of the
apartment, resulting in the order of January 12, 1993. All other
parts of the order remained unchanged.
In the PAR, the owner contends that he became the owner of the
building and notified the agency of same on July 28, 1992, that the
amended order was issued without notice to him or an opportunity to
respond, that the order was issued to parties who no longer have an
interest in the building, and that there is a question as to
whether the prior entities, First Nationwide Bank and Sanford Nager
Management received notice of the original order. The owner
further claims that the order is unwarranted because the tenant
never moved out of the apartment and requests the agency obtain
proof of this fact.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should
Section 2527.3 of the Rent Stabilization Code, applicable
here, requires, in addition to service on the parties at the
address specified on the application or complaint, that service be
made on the person named as the owner on the last filed
registration statement. Where a notice of change in identity has
been filed, then service must be made on the person named as owner
in such notice. Notice served in this manner shall constitute
notice to the person who is then the owner.
The record reflects that the amended order was not sent to the
current owner, the petitioner herein, as required by the above code
section. However, this is harmless error as the owner had actual
notice of the order through another source and filed a timely
The record, however, also reflects that neither the complaint
nor the original order, which were served on the parties named in
the original complaint, were served on the person named as the
owner on the last filed registration statement. The registered
owner as of April 1, 1990 was Hirsch Realty Mgt.
Consequently the time to object to the contents of that order
never began to run and the objections to the merits of that order
expressed by the petitioner herein are therefore timely.
The Commissioner notes that while the owner has submitted no
proof to support his contention that the tenant in fact never moved
out of the apartment, and that therefore the rent order is
unwarranted, the report of the agency's inspector dated August 15,
1990 is inconclusive as to whether the tenant was living in the
apartment. In addition, the tenant has not alleged in his
complaint that the apartment was not habitable.
The Commissioner finds that the parties should be afforded an
opportunity now to submit their proof on the issue of whether the
tenant actually vacated the apartment. Therefore this proceeding
is remanded to the Administrator for additional investigation upon
notice to all parties, and, pending a new determination by the
Administrator after remand, the Administrator's order is revoked.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code, it is,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,
granted, the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
revoked and the proceeding remanded to the Administrator for
processing in accordance with this order and opinion.
Joseph A. D'Agosta