Default Procedure Used to Calculate Overcharge
LVT Number: #24637
Rent-stabilized tenant complained of a rent overcharge. The DRA ruled for tenant and ordered landlord to refund the overcharge with triple damages. Landlord appealed and lost. The DRA calculated the overcharge using its default procedure because landlord failed to submit copies of leases or rent ledgers showing the full rental history for the apartment from the base rent date. Landlord claimed that it bought the building in 2008 and, since the prior lease was prepared by prior landlord, the overcharge shouldn't have been deemed willful. But current landlord was required to submit a full four-year rent history back to Nov. 4, 2005, the base rent date. A number of years ago, New York's highest court approved the use of the DHCR's default procedure in cases where landlords didn't produce full rent histories in response to overcharge complaints. And the back-dated lease offered to and signed by tenant in August 2008 was invalid and couldn't result in a rent increase.
980 Bergen, LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. ZE210024RO (12/3/12) [3-pg. doc.]