Good-Faith Refund Offer Not Made
LVT Number: 12251
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. The DRA ruled for tenant, and landlord appealed. Among other things, landlord claimed he'd offered tenant a refund of the overcharge while tenant's complaint was pending. Tenant claimed that landlord offered only $2,000, when the total overcharge was close to $6,000. The DHCR ruled against landlord. DHCR Policy Statement 89-2 gives landlord a chance to avoid overcharge penalties by recalculating tenant's lawful rent and making a good faith offer of a full refund plus interest. The offer must be made within the time that landlord has to answer tenant's overcharge complaint---generally 20 days. There was no proof that landlord made the refund offer within 20 days, nor did the offer include interest. Also, an offer to settle a $6,000 overcharge claim by offering $2,000 wasn't a good-faith offer.
Crane: DHCR Adm. Rev. Dckt. No. EG210154RO (11/14/97) [2-page document]