Complaint Improperly Treated as Fair Market Rent Appeal
LVT Number: 15422
(Decision submitted by Manhattan attorney Santo Golino, attorney for the landlord.) Facts: First rent-stabilized tenant moved into an apartment in 1990. In 1991, tenant filed a Tenant Objection to Rent Registration, claiming a rent overcharge and that he hadn't received his lease. Prior landlord answered, claiming that there was no overcharge. In 1992, new landlord advised the DRA of a change in ownership of the building. Between 1992 and 1997, the DRA took no action on tenant's complaint. Then, in 1997, the DRA told landlord it was treating tenant's complaint as a fair market rent appeal and that landlord could submit comparability data. Landlord claimed that it hadn't kept records to do so. The DRA ruled for tenant, and landlord appealed. The DHCR denied landlord's PAR. Landlord challenged the DHCR's ruling in court. Court: Landlord wins. Tenant's complaint didn't state that it was a fair market rent appeal, and tenant didn't check off the box on the Tenant Objection form that indicated that the complaint was a fair market rent appeal. Landlord wasn't given timely notice that the complaint was being treated as a fair market rent appeal. It wasn't fair to rule against landlord six years later, because it hadn't saved records that would have provided comparability data.
1 BK Street Corp. v. DHCR: NYLJ, 11/7/01, p. 18, col. 2 (Sup. Ct. NY; Schlesinger, J)