Formerly Rent-Controlled Apartment Became Stabilized Under 1983 Agreement with HPD
LVT Number: #32390
Tenant asked the DHCR in 2020 for a ruling that his apartment was rent controlled. He said he had lived in the unit with his parents since 1942, and submitted a 2017 housing court order indicating that the unit was rent controlled. Landord had bought the building in 2013 and, in response to tenant's application, showed that tenant's leases for the apartment were rent stabilized. Landlord also gave the DRA a copy of an HPD Order and Report of Setting of Initial Regulated (Stabilized) Rent and Services dated March 25, 1983, which was made effective April 1, 1983. That order listed the apartment's initial rent as $328 per month because the dwelling was rehabilitated and the rent established pursuant to Article 15 of the Private Housing Finance Law. A Rent Registration Certificate dated Nov. 28, 1986, from RSA also indicated that 72 units in the building were registered as rent stabilized at that time. Landlord also submitted copies of a number of housing court decisions between 2017 and 2019 where judges ruled that the apartment was rent stabilized. The DRA terminated the proceeding, finding that the housing court already had determined that the apartment was rent stabilized. Tenant appealed, claiming that the court's decision was "false," and lost.
The DHCR noted that the 2017 court decision relied on by tenant wasn't the final ruling in that case. In 2018, the court later determined that the apartment was rent stabilized and took "judicial notice" of ACRIS records showing that a prior landlord entered into an agreement with HPD in 1983 under PHFL Section 804 for the rehabilitation of the building and leveraged private financing for that work. So the building was properly removed from rent control and became rent stabilized even though the existing tenant remained in possession. In addition, the most recent housing court decision submitted to the DHCR affirmed that the apartment was rent stabilized. Since the Civil Court and the DHCR had concurrent jurisdiction to rule on the unit's rent-regulatory status, the DHCR was barred from addressing tenant's claim that he was rent controlled.
Borenstein: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. KM610013RT (12/9/22)[3-pg document]