Apartment in 421-a Building Covered
LVT Number: 8175
Facts: Landlord completed construction of an apartment building in July 1972. Landlord got real property tax-exemption benefits under Real Property Tax Law section 421-a. The tax benefits expired on June 30, 1973. In 1988, tenant complained of a rent overcharge. Landlord claimed that the building had been destabilized since the 421-a benefits had expired and that tenant moved in after the expiration date. The DRA ruled for tenant. Landlord appealed, claiming that under a 1984 amendment to the 421-a law, apartments becoming vacant after the tax benefits expired were no longer subject to rent stabilization. Tenant moved into the apartment in March 1986. The DHCR ruled against landlord---except to revoke triple damages. The DHCR noted that the building was built before Dec. 31, 1973, and contained more than six apartments. So, the building was subject to rent stabilization, even without 421-a status. And vacancy decontrol under 421-a applied only to buildings built after Jan. 1, 1975. Landlord appealed. Court: Landlord loses. The DHCR's interpretation of the 421-a law was reasonable. The 1984 amendment to the 421-a law, which applied to the destabilization of vacated apartments, applied only to buildings whose construction had started after Jan. 1, 1975. The language of the 421-law clearly provided that buildings built before that date are to remain subject to rent stabilization.
Ciampa North Co. v. New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal: 596 NYS2d 647 (2/22/93) (Sup. Ct. Queens; LeVine, J)