Four-Year Time Limit Doesn't Apply to Rent Freeze

LVT Number: #24504

Rent-stabilized tenant complained of a rent overcharge based on landlord's refusal to comply with rent reduction orders issued more than four years before the date of tenant's complaint. The DHCR ruled that the rent collected four years before the date of tenant's complaint was the base rent.  Tenant appealed, and New York's highest court ruled in 2010 that the four-year rule didn't apply to setting the base rent. The rent established by the prior rent reduction order froze tenant's rent at an amount that remained the legal base date rent. The court then sent the case back to the DHCR to calculate the rent overcharge.  The DHCR found that the 1987 rent reduction order reduced tenant's rent from $348 to $290. Although landlord continued to collect renewal guideline increases with each lease renewal, tenant's legal rent remained frozen at $290 through January 2004, by which time landlord was collecting $580. The total overcharge, including triple damages, was $25,000.

Cintron: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. ZD610018RP (10/12/12) [9-pg. doc.]


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