Docket Number: EJ 710311-RO
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

        APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: EJ 710311-RO
             THE BECHTOLDT CORP.,              DRO DOCKET NO.: ED 710004-R

                              PETITIONER    : 

        On October 30, 1990,  the  petitioner-owner  filed  a  Petition  for
        Administrative Review of an order issued on September 25,  1990,  by
        the District Rent Administrator, 50 Clinton Street,  Hempstead,  New
        York concerning the housing accommodations known as Apartment 1-V at 
        599 Front Street, Hempstead, New  York  wherein  the  District  Rent
        Administrator determined that the tenant had been overcharged.  

        The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record  and
        has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to  the
        issues raised by the petition.

        This proceeding was originally commenced on March 28,  1990  by  the
        filing of a rent overcharge complaint by  the  tenant.   The  tenant
        took occupancy pursuant to a lease commencing November 1,  1989  and
        expiring October 31, 1990 at a monthly rent of $830.00.

        In the order under appeal herein, the  District  Rent  Administrator
        established the legal regulated rent for the tenant's initial  lease
        at $726.23 based on the rent in the last completed  lease  ($607.21)
        increased by a guideline and vacancy allowance.   The  Administrator
        determined that the tenant had been overcharged  in  the  amount  of
        $1,185.25 and directed the refund of such amount to the tenant.  The 
        Administrator also imposed a  fine  of  $250.00  on  the  owner  for
        failing to provide the Tenant with a notice pursuant to  Section  48
        of the Regulations informing the Tenant of the prior legal regulated 
        rent and showing that the amount of increase over the prior rent was 
        within the guideline.

        In this petition, the owner contends that, starting with the rent of 
        $607.21, the owner is entitled to two vacancy allowances, not one as 
        the Administrator's order permits.

        The tenant submitted an answer to this petition, but did not address 
        the substance of the owner's petition.


        Docket Number: EJ 710311-RO

        The Commissioner is of the opinion  that  this  petition  should  be

        The rental history in this case indicates  that  subsequent  to  the
        tenancy of the prior tenant L. Lebron at a final  rent  of  $607.21,
        the apartment was rented to  two  prior  tenants  as  follows:  from
        October 1, 1988 to September 30, 1989 at $750.00  per  month  to  A.
        Ferguson; from April 1, 1989 to March 1, 1990 at $750.00  per  month
        to T. Domford.

        By order of the Nassau County Rent  Guidelines  Board,  the  vacancy
        rents for apartments rented between October 1,  1988  and  September
        30, 1989 and between October 1, 1989 and September 30, 1990  are  to
        be determined as follows:

             When an apartment becomes vacant, the last legal
             regulated rent for that apartment may be increased
             to the highest level regulated rent for an apartment
             of the same size within the building or complex, but
             may not exceed 15% above the prior legal regulated
             rent.  Once a legal regulated rent is established
             for an apartment based upon the vacancy, that 
             becomes the vacancy legal regulated rent until the
             termination date of the lease.  The comparable rent
             shall be determined at the time the first vacancy
             occurs for each size apartment in the building or
             complex and shall remain the comparable rent for
             the balance of the guideline year.  The landlord
             must notify the incoming tenant of the apartment
             used as the basis for the new legal regulated rent.

        The record in this case indicates that the Administrator  failed  to
        apply the above-cited guideline orders  to  properly  determine  the
        legal regulated rents for the vacancy  lease  of  the  prior  tenant
        Ferguson commencing October 1, 1988 and for the complainant tenant's 
        vacancy lease commencing November 1, 1989.  Pursuant  o  the  above-
        cited guideline orders, no increase is  warranted  for  the  vacancy
        lease of the prior tenant Domford commencing April 1, 1989  as  that
        lease commenced during the same guideline period as the lease of the 
        prior tenant Ferguson.  The Commissioner finds that  the  proceeding
        should be remanded to the Administrator for  proper  application  of
        the above-cited guideline orders.

        Section 48 (9 NYCRR 2503.8) of  the  Tenant  Protection  Regulations
        provides as follows:

                       (a)  A landlord of a vacant housing 
                  accommodation for lease shall make available to 
                  prospective tenants a notice in writing of the 
                  monthly rent under the offered lease, and of the 
                  prior legal regulated rent, if any, which was in 
                  effect immediately prior to the vacancy, and that 
                  any increase in the prior legal regulated rent 
                  under the offered lease does not exceed the 

                  applicable rate of rent adjustment in effect 
                  pursuant to the guidelines filed with the 

        Docket Number: EJ 710311-RO
                  Division by the Rent Guidelines Board for the 
                  county wherein the housing accommodation is 
                  located, or as otherwise authorized by the Act.
                       (b)  At the time of renting the vacant 
                  housing accommodation, the landlord shall attach 
                  this notice in writing to the executed written 
                  lease, and deliver a copy of the notice to the 
                  tenant with a copy of the lease, or include a 
                  written provision in the lease setting forth the 
                  prior legal regulated rent, the amount of any rent 
                  increase under the lease and showing that such 
                  increase does not exceed the applicable rate of 
                  rent adjustment in effect pursuant to the 
                  Guidelines filed by the Rent Guidelines Board 
                  or as otherwise authorized by the Act.  In the 
                  event the landlord does not comply with this 
                  requirement, the lease shall not be effective to 
                  increase the prior legal regulated rent; however, 
                  at such time thereafter that the landlord does 
                  provide the notice to the tenant with the required 
                  information in writing, the otherwise authorized 
                  monthly rent increase shall be collectible 
                  commencing with the first rent payment date 

        The record in this case includes  a  Rent  Guidelines  Pricing  form
        indicating how the tenant's rent was  calculated.   This  notice  is
        signed by the tenants but is undated.  The  owner  states  that  the
        notice was signed by the tenants, but does not indicate if or when a 
        copy of this notice was actually given to the tenants.   On  remand,
        the Administrator should determine if and when such notice was given 
        to the tenants.  The penalty for failure to provide such notice,  as
        enunciated in Section 2503.8 of the Tenant  Protection  Regulations,
        is to render the tenant's lease ineffective to  increase  the  prior
        legal regulated rent  until  such  time  as  the  notice  is  given.
        Furthermore, pursuant to Section 2506.2(b) of the Tenant  Protection
        Regulations, the Administrator may assess a fine of $250.00  if  the
        Administrator finds  that  the  owner  willfully  violated  9  NYCRR

        THEREFORE, in accordance with the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 
        1974 and the Tenant Protection Regulations, it is

        ORDERED, that this petition be and the same hereby is  granted,  and
        that this proceeding be and the  same  hereby  is  remanded  to  the
        District Rent Administrator for  further  processing  in  accordance
        with  this  order  and  opinion.   So  much  of  the  District  Rent
        Administrator's order as directed a refund is hereby stayed until  a


        Docket Number: EJ 710311-RO

        new order is  issued  upon  remand.   However,  the  Administrator's
        determination as to the rent is  not  stayed  and  shall  remain  in
        effect, except for  any  adjustments  pursuant  to  lease  renewals,
        until the Administrator issues a new order upon remand.


                                        ELLIOT SANDER
                                        Deputy Commissioner


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