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

          ------------------------------------X    SJR6854
          APPEAL OF                                DOCKET NO.HJ110019RP 
                                              :             (BA110444RO)
            David Associates,                      DRO DOCKET NO.       
                               PETITIONER     :    TENANT:Michael Bracken


          The above-named owner is deemed to have timely filed a Petition for 
          Administrative Review ("PAR") against an order issued on December 
          12,  1986,  by  a  Rent  Administrator,  concerning  the  housing
          accommodations known as 11-14, 46th Avenue, Long Island City, New 
          York, Apartment No.2H, wherein the Rent Administrator  determined
          that the owner had overcharged  the  tenant.   (The  Commissioner
          initially rejected the PAR for procedural reasons; the owner then 
          petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse that action, and the Court 
          (pursuant  to  stipulation)  has  remitted  the  matter  to   the
          Commissioner for a determination on the merits.)

          This proceeding was originally commenced by the filing in 1984 of 
          a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant,  to  which  the  owner
          submitted no answer.  In his complaint, the tenant stated that the 
          first moved to the subject apartment on March 14, 1982.  In Order 
          Number CDR 28,401, the Rent Administrator determined, due to  the
          owner's failure to submit a complete rental history, that the owner 
          had collected a rent overcharge of $4,090.25, including interest on 
          that portion of the overcharge occurring on and  after  April  1,
          1984, and excessive security deposited.

          In this petition, the owner submits copies of leases running from 
          1980, contending that the Commissioner should now consider  those
          leases for the reason that when  the  owner  got  notice  of  the
          tenant's complaint, the tenant had already moved out,  the  owner
          therefore believing  it  had  no  obligation  to  respond.   More
          specifically the owner states that when (not having received  the
          complaint herein) it received  the  Administrator's  1986  "Final
          Notice," its records showed that the tenant had vacated in 1985, so 
          that the owner believed the matter was moot.


          In answer to the owner's petition, the tenant states in pertinent 
          part that "a landlord who makes his  living   ...  from  a  rent-
          stabilized building and employ[s] a staff regarding  same  should
          know that if he has overcharged a tenant, his obligation to that 
          tenant for the amount overcharged should not cease just because the 
          tenant moves out of the building."

          In response to that answer the owner refers in pertinent part  to
          its "misunderstanding that once a tenant  has  vacated  a[n]  ...
          apartment, the complaint of that tenant w[ill] be dismissed."

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be

          Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code requires that an 
          owner retain complete records for each  stabilized  apartment  in
          effect from June 30, 1974 (or the date the apartment became subject 
          to Rent Stabilization, if later) and to produce such records to the 
          DHCR upon demand.  

          Section 26-516 of the Rent Stabilization Law, effective April  1,
          1984, limited an owner's obligation to provide  rent  records  by
          providing that an owner may not be required  to  maintain  or  to
          produce rent records for more than four years prior to  the  most
          recent registration, and concomitantly, established  a  four-year
          limitation on the calculation of rent overcharges.

          It has been the DHCR's policy that  overcharge  complaints  filed
          prior to April 1, 1984, are to be processed pursuant to the Law or 
          Code in effect on March 31, 1984.  (See Section 2526.1(a)(4) of the 
          current Rent Stabilization Code.)  The DHCR has therefore applied 
          Section 42A of the former Code to overcharge complaints filed prior 
          to April 1, 1984, requiring complete rent records in these cases. 
          In following this policy, the DHCR has sought to be consistent with 
          the legislative intent of the Omnibus Housing Act  (Chapter  403,
          laws of 1983), as implemented by the New York City Conciliation and 
          Appeals Board (CAB), the  predecessor  agency  to  the  DHCR,  to
          determine rent overcharge complaints filed with the CAB prior  to
          April 1, 1984, by applying the law in effect  at  the  time  such
          complaints were filed, so as not to deprive such tenants of their 
          rights to have the lawful stabilized rent determined from the 
          June 30, 1974 base date, and so as not to deprive  tenants  whose
          overcharge claims accrued more than four years prior to April  1,
          1984 of the right to recover such overcharges.  In such cases, if 
          the owner failed to produce the required rent records, the lawful 
          stabilized rent would  be  determined  pursuant  to  the  default
          procedure approved by the Court of  Appeals  in  61  Jane  Street
          Associates v. CAB, 65 N.Y.2d 898, 493 N.Y.S. 2d 455 (1985).

          However, it has recently been held in the case of J.R.D. Mgmt. v. 
          Eimicke, 148 A.D.2d 610. 539 N.Y.S. 2d 667 (App. Div.  2d  Dept.,


          1989), motion for leave to reargue or for leave to appeal to  the
          Court of Appeals denied (App. Div. 2d Dept., N.Y.L.J.,  June  28,
          1989. p.25, col.1), motion for leave to appeal to  the  Court  of
          Appeals denied (Court of Appeals, N.Y.L.J., Nov. 24, 1989,  p.24,
          col.4), motion for leave to reargue  denied  (Court  of  Appeals,
          N.Y.L.J., Feb.15, 1990, p.25, col.1), that the law in effect at the 
          time of the determination of the administrative complaint  rather
          than the law in effect at the time of the filing of the complaint 
          must be applied, and that the DHCR could not require an owner  to
          produce more than four years of rent records.

          Since the issuance of the decision in JRD, the Appellate Division, 
          First Department, in the case of Lavanant v. DHCR, 148 A.D.2d 185, 
          544 N.Y.S.2d 331 (App.Div. 1st Dept. 1989), has issued a decision 
          in direct conflict with the holding in JRD.  The  Lavanant  court
          expressly rejected the JRD ruling,  finding  that  the  DHCR  may
          properly require an owner to submit complete rent records, rather 
          than records for just four years, and that that requirement is both 
          rational and supported by the law and the legislative history  of
          the Omnibus Housing Act.

          Since in the instant case the subject dwelling unit is located in 
          the Second Department, the DHCR is constrained to follow the  JRD
          decision in determining the tenant's overcharge complaint, limiting 
          the requirement for rent records to April 1, 1980.  An examination 
          of the records in this case  discloses  that  the  owner  in  the
          proceeding before the Rent Administrator did not submit a  rental
          history from April 1, 1980, as required.    

          The owner's excuse, that it believed any response-- even by way of 
          inquiry--was unnecessary  because  the  tenant  had  vacated  the
          premises, is unacceptable.  As to the allegation that the owner did 
          not receive the original  complaint:   the  Administrator's  file
          contains an initialed note that "owner notices sent"  on  "11-30-
          84," as well as a carbon copy of a letter of the same date, bearing 
          the same owner's address as the Final Notice that the owner admits 
          receiving.  Said November 30, 1984 letter from the  DHCR  begins:
          "Enclosed please find a copy of a tenant's complaint  form(s)....
          [and] owner answer forms."  In these circumstances the Commissioner 
          will not find a failure to serve the  owner  with  the  complaint
          herein.  The submission of a rental history for the first time on 
          appeal is not acceptable since this is not a de novo proceeding.

          Accordingly, the Rent Administrator's order establishing the lawful 
          stabilization rent utilizing the default procedure and finding  a
          rent overcharge was warranted.

          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 increases.

          The Commissioner has determined in this Order and Opinion that the 
          owner collected overcharges of $4,090.25.  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.  The County Clerk 
          may then 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.

          A copy of this order is being sent to the current occupant of the 
          subject apartment.

          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.   The  lawful
          rent, as of February 1986, was $351.29.

                                                       JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                       Deputy Commissioner

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