Incorrect Annual Rent Registrations Didn't Prove Fraud
LVT Number: #24666
Rent-stabilized tenant complained in 2011 of a rent overcharge. The DRA ruled against tenant, finding no overcharge. Tenant appealed and lost. Tenant claimed that landlord committed fraud and that therefore the four-year look-back limitation on overcharge claims should be disregarded. The DHCR disagreed. Here, tenant claimed improper rent increases in 2003, followed by 28-day transitory rentals in 2004 at $450 each, then a base date of Jan. 28, 2007, then an increase in rent followed by a lowering of tenant's rent in 2007 back to $450 per month. Landlord had improperly registered the apartment for the years 2004 through 2007 at a "legal rent" of $1,000 per month. But this didn't show any fraudulent scheme to deregulate or overcharge tenant. Tenant admitted that landlord didn't raise tenant's rent for seven years. And, although the apartment wasn't properly registered for a number of years, landlord could amend the registrations and it didn't affect the rent actually collected.
Campbell: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. AP210012RT (1/17/13) [3-pg. doc.]