Landlord Can't Collect Washing Machine Surcharge
LVT Number: #24609
After the DHCR ruled that landlord wasn't entitled to collect a washing machine surcharge from rent-stabilized tenant, landlord filed an Article 78 court appeal claiming that the agency's decision was unreasonable. The court and appeals court ruled against landlord. Rent Stabilization Code (RSC) Section 2522.9 and DHCR Operational Bulletin 2005-1 permitted a prospective surcharge when a previously installed washing machine "comes to the attention" of landlord and landlord "consents" to its continued use. But the DHCR rationally interpreted this present-tense language to mean that RSC Section 2522.9(b)(1) didn't apply where landlord had acquiesced to tenant's use of a washing machine before the effective date of the regulation on Dec. 20, 2000. It was undisputed that landlord had allowed the use of tenant's washing machine, without imposing a surcharge or taking any other action, before Dec. 20, 2000, and until after the issuance of the 2005 Operational Bulletin. So landlord couldn't impose any surcharge, even prospectively.
Arias v Pascal: 2013 NY Slip Op 00288, NYLJ No. 1202585608422 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 1/22/13; Friedman, JP, Renwick, Manzanet-Daniels, Roman, Clark, JJ)