DHCR Permission to Amend Initial Rent Registration Limited to Correction of Ministerial Errors
LVT Number: #33036
Landlord asked the DHCR in 2023 for permission to amend its 2014 Initial Apartment Registration for an apartment in the building, in order to correct an error. The DRA ruled for landlord and directed that the Initial Registration be amended to change the legal rent to $2,675. The DRA noted that the Order was "not a determination of the legal rent for the apartment but only a determination of whether the owner had sufficient justification for amending the registration."
Landlord appealed and lost. In its PAR, landlord sought modification of the DRA's Order, claiming that the Order should have restored the initial legal regulated rent (ILRR) to $4,160 as listed in the Initial Registration landlord claimed had been filed in March 2014, so that the next initial lease could be based on the legal rent of $4,160. But the DRA correctly permitted amendment as ordered based on the documentation provided by landlord. Landlord had submitted the initial lease, a renewal lease, a rent ledger, and a DHCR rent roll indicating that the ILRR of the apartment was $2,675. Landlord's submitted documentation didn't support its claim on appeal that the ILRR was $4,160. Moreover, amendments to rent registrations are permitted only to correct "ministerial" errors, such as a clerical error in the rent amount, misspelling of a tenant's name, or an incorrect lease term. The amendment application process, effective under the RSC amendments of 2014, doesn't confer unlimited, open-ended rights upon landlord. Landlord's request to re-calculate the rental history or other types of changes aren't applicable for registration amendment. The DHCR also noted that registration of the LRR with the DHCR by itself won't establish the legal rent for future usage.
Wythe Properties LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. LV210011RO (12/1/23)[3-pg. document]