New York Rent Laws
Rent Stab Code (1987) - Table of Contents

NYC Rent Stabilization Code (1987)

Please note: This version of the NYC Rent Stabilziation Code is from 1987 and is not current. The code has been amended several times since 1987. Although much remains the same, there are significant changes that have occurred. This version of the code is maintained for archival purposes.

PART 2526 -- ENFORCEMENT ----------------------------- TABLE OF CONTENTS Section 2526.1. Overcharge penalties; fines; assessment of costs; attorney's fees; rent credits. 2526.2. Orders to enforce the RSL and this Code. 2526.3. Injunctions by Supreme Court. 2526.4. Oaths, subpoenas, hearing officers. 2526.5. Confidentiality of information. 2526.6. Inspection and records. ----------------------------- Sec. 2526.1. OVERCHARGE PENALTIES; FINES; ASSESSMENT OF COSTS; ATTORNEY'S FEES; RENT CREDITS. (a) (1) Any owner who is found by the DHCR, after a reasonable opportunity to be heard, to have collected any rent or other consideration in excess of the legal regulated rent shall be ordered to pay to the tenant a penalty equal to three times the amount of such excess, except as provided under subdivision (f) of this section. If the owner establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the overcharge was not willful, the DHCR shall establish the penalty as the amount of the overcharge plus interest from the date of the first overcharge on or after April 1, 1984, at the rate of interest payable on a judgment pursuant to section 5004 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, and the order shall direct such a payment to be made to the tenant. (2) A complaint pursuant to this section must be filed with the DHCR within four years of the first overcharge alleged, and no award of the amount of an overcharge may be based upon an overcharge having occurred more than four years before the complaint is filed, provided that: (i) a penalty of three times the overcharge may not be based upon an overcharge having occurred more than two years before the complaint is filed or upon an overcharge which occurred prior to April 1, 1984; and (ii) any complaint based upon overcharges occurring prior to the date of filing of the initial rent registration for a housing accommodation pursuant to Part 2528 of this Title shall be filed within 90 days of the mailing of notice to the tenant of such registration. (3) (i) Except as to complaints filed pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, the legal regulated rent for purposes of determining an overcharge shall be deemed to be the rent shown in the annual registration statement filed four years prior to the most recent registration statement (or, if more recently filed, the initial registration statement), plus in each case any subsequent lawful increases and adjustments. (ii) As to complaints filed within 90 days of the initial registration of a housing accommodation, the legal regulated rent for purposes of determining an overcharge shall be deemed to be the rent charged and paid on April 1, 1980, or for a housing accommodation not required to be registered by June 30, 1984, four years prior to the date the housing accommodation was first required to be registered (or if the housing accommodation was subject to the RSL and this Code for less than four years prior to such initial registration, the initial legal regulated rent) plus in each case, any lawful increases and adjustments. Where the rent charged on such dates cannot be established, such rent shall be determined by the DHCR in accordance with section 2522.6 of this Title. (4) Complaints filed prior to April I, 1 984 shall be determined in accordance with the RSL and Code provisions in effect on March 31, 1984, except that an overcharge collected on or after April 1, 1984 may be subject to treble damages pursuant to this section. (b) The DHCR shall determine the owner's liability between or among two or more tenants found to have been overcharged during their particular occupancy of a housing accommodation, and at its discretion, may require the owner to make diligent efforts to locate prior tenants who are not parties to the proceeding, and to make refunds to such tenants or pay the amount of such penalty as a fine. (c) (1) Any affected tenant shall be given notice of and an opportunity to join in any proceeding commenced by the DHCR pursuant to this section. (2) Where a complainant pursuant to this section vacates the housing accommodation, and the DHCR continues the proceeding, the DHCR shall give any affected tenant notice of and an opportunity to join in such proceeding. (d) An owner who is found to have overcharged by the DHCR may be assessed and ordered to pay to the tenant as an additional penalty the reasonable costs and attorney's fees of the proceeding, and except where treble damages are awarded, interest from the date of the overcharge occurring on or after April 1, 1984, at the rate of interest payable on a judgment pursuant to section 5004 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. (e) A tenant may recover any overcharge penalty established by the DHCR by deducting it from the rent due to the present owner at a rate not in excess of 20 percent of the amount of the penalty for any one month's rent. If no such rent credit has been taken, the order of the DHCR awarding penalties may be entered, filed and enforced by a tenant in the same manner as a judgment of the Supreme Court, on a form prescribed by the DHCR, provided that the amount of the penalty exceeds $1,000 or the tenant is no longer in possession. Neither of these remedies is available until the expiration of the period in which the owner may institute a proceeding pursuant to Part 2530 of this Title. (f) Responsibility for overcharges. (1) For overcharges collected prior to April 1, 1984, an owner will be held responsible only for his or her portion of the overcharges, in the absence of collusion or any relationship between such owner and any prior owners. (2) For overcharge complaints filed or overcharges collected on or after April 1, 1984, a current owner shall be responsible for all overcharge penalties, including penalties based upon overcharges collected by any prior owner. However, in the absence of collusion or any relationship between such owner and any prior owner, where no records sufficient to establish the legal regulated rent were provided at a judicial sale, a current owner who purchases upon such judicial sale shall be liable only for his or her portion of the overcharges, and shall not be liable for treble damages upon such portion resulting from overcharges caused by any prior owner. Such penalties shall be subject to the time limitations set forth in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. (3) This subdivision shall not be construed to entitle a tenant to more than one refund for the same overcharge. (g) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a proceeding pursuant to section 2522.3 of this Title. Sec. 2526.2. ORDERS TO ENFORCE THE RSL AND THIS CODE. (a) Upon notice and reasonable opportunity to be heard, the DHCR may issue orders it deems appropriate to enforce the RSL and this Code. (b) In addition to any other penalties provided for in this Code, if the DHCR finds that any owner has knowingly violated any provision of the RSL or this Code, it may assess a penalty of up to $250 for each such violation against the owner. (c) If the owner is found by the DHCR: (1) to have violated an order of the DHCR, the DHCR may impose, by administrative order after holding a hearing, a penalty in the amount of $250 for the first such offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense; or (2) to have harassed a tenant to obtain a vacancy of a housing accommodation, the DHCR may impose, by administrative order after holding a hearing, a penalty in the amount of up to $1,000 for a first such offense and up to $2,500 for each subsequent offense or for a violation consisting of conduct directed at the tenants of more than one housing accommodation. Such order shall be deemed a final determination for the purposes of judicial review pursuant to Part 2530 of this Title. Such penalty may, upon the expiration of the period for seeking review pursuant to article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, be docketed and enforced in the manner of a judgment of the Supreme Court; or (3) not have utilized a housing accommodation for the purpose intended under section 2524.4(b)(2) of this Title, the DHCR shall impose, by administrative order after hearing, a penalty in the amount of up to $1,000 for each such offense. (d) Any owner who has been found by the DHCR to have refused to comply with an order of the DHCR or to have harassed a tenant shall, in addition to being subject to any other penalties or remedies permitted by law or by this Code, be barred thereafter from applying for or collecting any further rent increase for the affected housing accommodation. The finding by the DHCR that the owner has complied with such order or that the conduct which resulted in the finding of harassment has ceased, shall result in the prospective elimination of the sanctions provided for in this section. (e) The failure of any owner to pay any fine, penalty or assessment authorized by the RSL or this Code shall, until such fine, penalty or assessment is paid, bar an owner from applying for or collecting any further rent increases for such housing accommodation. The late payment of any fine, penalty or assessment shall result in the prospective elimination of such sanction. Sec. 2526.3. INJUNCTIONS BY SUPREME COURT. The DHCR may commence proceedings in the Supreme Court to enjoin violations of the RSL, this Code, or orders issued pursuant thereto. In any such proceedings, the DHCR shall not be required to post bond. Sec. 2526.4. OATHS, SUBPOENAS, HEARING OFFICERS. The DHCR may administer oaths, issue subpoenas, conduct investigations, make inspections and designate officers to hear and report. Sec. 2526.5. CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION. The DHCR shall safeguard the confidentiality of information furnished to it at the request of the person furnishing such information, unless such information must be made public or available to a governmental agency in the interest of establishing a record for the future guidance of persons subject to the RSL. Sec. 2526.6. INSPECTION AND RECORDS. (a) An owner shall, as the DHCR may from time to time require, furnish information under oath or affirmation or otherwise, permit inspection and copying of records and other documents and permit inspection of any housing accommodations. (b) An owner shall, as the DHCR may from time to time require, make and keep records and other documents and make reports.


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