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Rent Administrator ordered to determine 5 year old rent overcharge complaint

Posted by hawk on May 28, 1999 at 08:45:05:

In Daniel v. DHCR, 683 N.Y.S.2d 404, 409 (Supreme Ct., N.Y. County), the court acknowledged that the rent stabilization laws do not have any time limit for the Rent Administrator to render a determination. However, the court declared, that a delay of over 5 years is inherently unreasonably and gave DHCR 60 days to render a final determination. (A "final determination" in this situation means a determination on the merits, whereas if a case is at the PAR level a "final determination" could include a determination to remand the case back to the Rent Administrator for further consideration or gathering of evidence.)

This is the first case I have ever seen where an Article 78 mandamus-to-compel was used successfully to compel a determination at the Rent Administrator's level.

So, if anyone has an old rent overcharge complaint or Fair Market Rent Appeal languishing at DHCR, this kind of Article 78 will likely have DHCR eager to settle the proceeding by stipulating and agreeing to render a final determination on the merits within a certain time period. I suggest that DHCR will be eager to settle such an Article 78 because they probably don't want too many such cases being decided and published, like the above case. Then too many people will be getting the idea and bringing such mandamus-to-compels. So, for the filing fee of $245.00 and a few hundred to a tenant lawyer, any tenant inpatient about DHCR's failure to decide their complaint, now has a way to shake up the apple cart. If anyone brings such a case please let me know the outcome.
Good luck!

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