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2520 Scope
2521 Legal Rents
2522 Rent Adjustments
2523 Notices and Records
2524 Evictions
2525 Prohibitions
2526 Enforcement
2527 DHCR Proceedings
2528 Registration
2529 Administrative Review
2530 Judicial Review
2531
High-Income Decontrol
   

State of New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Title 9. Executive Department
Subtitle S. Division of Housing and Community Renewal
Chapter VIII. Rent Stabilization Regulations
Subchapter B. Rent Stabilization Code

Part 2526. Enforcement
2526.1 Determination of legal regulated rents; 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



9 NYCRR Part 2526 Notes

Statutory Authority: N.Y.C. Administrative Code, §§ 26-511(b), 26-518(a). Added Part 2526 on 5/01/87.

9 NYCRR § 2526.1

§2526.1  Determination of legal regulated rents; 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. In no event shall such treble damage penalty be assessed against an owner based solely upon the owner's failure to file any timely or proper rent registration statement. 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, which interest shall accrue from the date of the first overcharge on or after the base date, 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 determination of an overcharge and no award or calculation of an award of the amount of an overcharge may be based upon an overcharge having occurred more than four years before the complaint is filed; additionally:

(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) the rental history of the housing accommodation prior to the four-year period preceding the filing of a complaint pursuant to this section, and section 2522.3 of this Title, shall not be examined. This subparagraph shall preclude examination of a rent registration for any year commencing prior to the base date, as defined in section 2520.6(f) of this Title, whether filed before or after such base date. Except in the case of decontrol pursuant to section 2520.11(r) or (s) of this Title, nothing contained herein shall limit a determination as to whether a housing accommodation is subject to the RSL and this Code, nor shall there be a limit on the continuing eligibility of an owner to collect rent increases pursuant to section 2522.4 of this Title, which may have been subject to deferred implementation, pursuant to section 2522.4(a)(8) in order to protect tenants from excessive rent increases.

(3)

(i) The legal regulated rent for purposes of determining an overcharge shall be deemed to be the rent charged on the base date, plus in each case any subsequent lawful increases and adjustments.

(ii) Where the rent charged on the base date cannot be established, the rent shall be determined by the DHCR in accordance with section 2522.6 of this Title.

(iii) Where a housing accommodation is vacant or temporarily exempt from regulation pursuant to section 2520.11 of this Title on the base date, the legal regulated rent shall be the rent agreed to by the owner and the first rent stabilized tenant taking occupancy after such vacancy or temporary exemption, and reserved in a lease or rental agreement; or, in the event a lesser amount is shown in the first registration for a year commencing after such tenant takes occupancy, the amount shown in such registration, as adjusted pursuant to this Code.

(4) Complaints filed prior to April 1, 1984 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)

(i) 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, or such other sale effected in connection with, or to resolve, in whole or in part, a bankruptcy proceeding, mortgage foreclosure action or other judicial proceeding, an owner who purchases upon or subsequent to such sale shall not be liable for overcharges collected by any owner prior to such sale, and treble damages upon overcharges that he or she collects which result from overcharges collected by any owner prior to such sale. An owner who did not purchase at such sale, but who purchased subsequent to such sale, shall also not be liable for overcharges collected by any prior owner subsequent to such sale to the extent that such overcharges are the result of overcharges collected prior to such sale.

(ii) Court-appointed receivers. A receiver who is appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction to receive rent for the use or occupation of a housing accommodation shall not, in the absence of collusion or any relationship between such receiver and any owner or other receiver, be liable for overcharges collected by any owner or other receiver, and treble damages upon overcharges that he or she collects which result from overcharges collected by any owner or other receiver, where records sufficient to establish the legal regulated rent have not been made available to such receiver. Penalties pursuant to this paragraph 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.

Statutory Authority:
Civil Practice Law & Rules, § 5004, N.Y.C. Administrative Code, §§ 26-511(b), 26-518(a)
History:
Added § 2526.1 on 5/01/87; amended § 2526.1 heading on 12/20/00; amended § 2526.1(a)(1) on 12/20/00; amended § § 2526.1(a)(2) on 12/20/00; amended § 2526.1(a)(3)(i) on 12/20/00; repealed and added § 2526.1(a)(3)(ii) on 12/20/00; added § 2526.1(a)(3)(iii) on 12/20/00; amended § 2526.1(f)(2) on 12/20/00.

9 NYCRR § 2526.2

§ 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:

(i) where the offense was committed prior to July 19, 1997, 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; or

(ii) where the offense is committed on or after July 19, 1997, not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 for each such 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.

Statutory Authority:
Civil Practice Law & Rules, § A78, N.Y.C. Administrative Code, §§ 26-511(b), 26-518(a)
History:
Added §2526.2 on 5/01/87; amended §2526.2(c)(2) on 12/20/00.

9 NYCRR § 2526.3

§ 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.

Statutory Authority:
N.Y.C. Administrative Code, §§ 26-511(b), 26-518(a)
History:
Added §2526.3 on 5/01/87.

9 NYCRR § 2526.4

§ 2526.4  Oaths, subpoenas, hearing officers

The DHCR may administer oaths, issue subpoenas, conduct investigations, make inspections and designate officers to hear and report.

Statutory Authority:
N.Y.C. Administrative Code, §§ 26-511(b), 26-518(a)
History:
Added §2526.4 on 5/01/87.

9 NYCRR § 2526.5

§ 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.

Statutory Authority:
N.Y.C. Administrative Code, §§ 26-511(b), 26-518(a)
History:
Added §2526.5 on 5/01/87.

9 NYCRR § 2526.6

§ 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.

Statutory Authority:
N.Y.C. Administrative Code, §§ 26-511(b), 26-518(a)
History:
Added §2526.6 on 5/01/87.

 

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