Court, Not DHCR, Must Determine Overcharge Calculations Based on Tenants' Choice of Forum
LVT Number: #32737
In 2019, seven current and former building tenants sued landlord, seeking a declaration that they were rent stabilized and individual findings of the legal rents for their apartments. Among other things, the court granted landlord's request to refer the matter to the DHCR for determination of the legal regulated rents for each unit.
Tenants appealed, and won in part. The HSTPA provides that the courts and the DHCR have concurrent jurisdiction in rent overcharge cases and that tenants have the choice of forum for such rulings. Since tenants chose the court as their forum, the court improperly referred the cases to the DHCR for rent overcharge calculation while staying the court action. However, the court properly granted tenants' request to dismiss their claim alleging violations of GBL Section 349 and deceptive trade practices since there were no specific allegations that landlord engaged in such practices in the sale of any consumer goods or services.
Collins v. 527 Lincoln Place, LLC: App. No. 2020-05786, Index No. 508400/19, 2023 NY Slip Op 03904 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 7/26/23; Duffy, JP, Maltese, Christopher, Genovesi, JJ)
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