$24,000 Overcharge Award Based on Landlord's Default
LVT Number: #20355
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. The DRA ruled for tenant based on landlord's failure to submit rent history records and ordered landlord to refund $24,000, including triple damages. Landlord appealed, arguing that the DRA should have considered rent registrations filed between 2002 and 2007. Landlord also claimed that tenant had a chance to challenge the rent in a housing court proceeding where the court ruled that tenant failed to pay rent in the amount charged by landlord. With its PAR, landlord submitted copies of tenant's last seven leases but didn't submit any documents relating to the court proceeding. The DHCR ruled against landlord. Landlord never submitted any rent history records despite the fact that the DRA sent landlord three notices that failure to respond would result in triple damages and setting the rent under the DHCR's default method. Landlord was required to submit leases or other rent history records. Rent registration records don't determine the rent history. Landlord also submitted no records concerning the housing court proceeding, so there was no proof that the issue of rent overcharge was raised there. Tenant was entitled to raise that issue before either the DHCR or the court and placed the issue before the DHCR by filing her overcharge complaint.
Marion LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. VJ610090RO (2/8/08) [3-pg. doc.]