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. HG210010RO
: DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
340 East 31st Street Realty Co., DOCKET NO. GJ210499R
TENANT: Veronica Blackwood
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 24, 1993, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition for
Administrative Review against an order issued on May 26, 1993, by the
Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York,
concerning the housing accommodations known as 3214 Beverly Road,
Brooklyn , New York, Apartment No. B2, wherein the Administrator
determined that the owner had collected an overcharge.
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.
The proceeding was commenced by the tenant's filing of a rent overcharge
complaint on October 26, 1992.
In Order Number GJ210499R, the Administrator determined that the owner
had proved the cost of the installation of a new stove and a new
refrigerator totalling $666.82, entitling the owner to a rent increase
of $16.67 and further determining that the owner had failed to
substantiate additional claimed improvements, the Administrator
established the legal stabilization rent at $409.76 and directed the
owner to refund to the tenant an overcharge of $3,165.92 inclusive of
excess security and interest.
In this petition, the owner contends in substance that the Administrator
erred is not permitting a rent increase for all the improvements in the
subject apartment as complete documentation substantiating said
improvements had been submitted.
In response, the tenant concedes that the owner did provide a new stove
and refrigerator as well as a new toilet which she asserts should be
considered not an improvement but a necessity. However, the tenant
denies that other improvements were made in the subject apartment.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2522.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, an owner
is entitled to a rent increase where there has been a substantial
increase of dwelling space or services or the installation of new
equipment provided in or to the housing accommodation on written tenant
consent to the rent increase. In the case of vacant housing
accommodations, tenant consent is not required.
In the event of a tenant challenge to the rent, an owner must provide
sufficient documentation, i.e. paid bills, cancelled checks et. al.
which indicate clearly when and where the improvements were made as well
as cost and payment, to substantiate the rent increase taken.
A review of the record reveals that the documents submitted by the owner
were deficient in that the site of the improvement was not cited, nor
was the nature of the improvement clearly specified. Given that the
owner acknowledges that he was working on several apartments at the same
time and that the tenant denies that the improvements at issue were made
and states that some work, painting, for example, is not an improvement
but necessary maintenance, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator
did not err in disallowing the improvement amount in controversy.
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 the owner
collected overcharges of $3,165.92. 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 Order.
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, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA