Landlord Didn't Submit Additional Requested Documents
LVT Number: 17744
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. Landlord claimed that there was no overcharge and that it made certain apartment improvements before tenant moved in, which warranted a substantial rent increase. The DHCR ruled for tenant and ordered landlord to refund over $200,000 for the period between March 1, 1983, and Dec. 31, 2001. But the DHCR didn't award tenant triple damages. Landlord appealed, claiming that the DHCR should have allowed landlord to collect an increase for apartment improvements. The DHCR had held a hearing in 2001 and had asked landlord to submit additional proof of claimed improvements in the form of receipts. Landlord was unable to do so, and argued that the long delay in the DHCR's processing was to blame. An appeals court ruled against landlord. Landlord had notice of tenant's complaint long before the hearing date and should have maintained records. The appeals court also ruled against tenant on his triple damages claim. The DHCR had discretion to consider all factors bearing on the equities of the case.
Waverly Assocs. v. DHCR: NYLJ, 11/26/04, p. 25, col. 4 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Andrias, JP, Sullivan, Ellerin, Lerner, Marlow, JJ)