CAB Expulsion Order Ended When Prior Tenant Died

LVT Number: #32391

Tenant asked the DHCR in 2018 for a ruling that he had succession rights to a rent-stabilized apartment. The DRA ruled against tenant, finding that he was the first rent-stabilized tenant of the unit. Tenant and landlord both appealed and lost. Landlord argued that there was a prior, pending housing court proceeding between the parties where any issues should be decided. Landlord also said that tenant never signed a lease or paid rent to landlord. Tenant argued that the DRA's order was contrary to a CAB Explusion Order issued for the apartment before 1984.

Tenant asked the DHCR in 2018 for a ruling that he had succession rights to a rent-stabilized apartment. The DRA ruled against tenant, finding that he was the first rent-stabilized tenant of the unit. Tenant and landlord both appealed and lost. Landlord argued that there was a prior, pending housing court proceeding between the parties where any issues should be decided. Landlord also said that tenant never signed a lease or paid rent to landlord. Tenant argued that the DRA's order was contrary to a CAB Explusion Order issued for the apartment before 1984. Tenant claimed that the Expulsion Order, based on prior landlord's harassment, "remained viable," and that the apartment rent should remain frozen. The Expulsion Order had determined that tenant's grandfather, who died in 2017, was the rent-controlled tenant at the time of the Expulsion Order. 

The DRA had determined that tenant's grandfather became rent controlled under the Expulsion Order but that after he died, the apartment returned to its former rent-stabilized status. The complaining tenant failed to prove his succession rights claim but, since the Expulsion Order was no longer in effect, he became the first rent-stabilized tenant of the apartment. The DHCR found that the DRA had properly processed the tenant's application pending the outcome of the holdover proceeding since the DHCR has concurrent jurisdiction with the courts in determining succession cases and there was no court order directing a stay of the DHCR proceeding. And a DHCR administrative proceeding wasn't an open-ended process; the DHCR wasn't obligated to wait indefinitely for a response while landlord sought production of tenant's tax records from the IRS. And tenant failed to demonstrate that he had lived in the apartment with the prior tenant for at least two years before that tenant died in February 2017.

Ramirez/Nisim: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket Nos. JV110037RO, JV110021RT (12/9/22)[8-pg. document]