Landlord Filed Late Initial Registration
LVT Number: 14450
Facts: Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent, claiming that tenant owed $61,000 in back rent. Tenant claimed that landlord had collected a rent overcharge. He said he was the first rent-stabilized tenant after prior rent-controlled tenant moved out. Tenant also pointed out that landlord hadn't sent him the initial rent registration within 90 days of when tenant moved in. Tenant claimed that the legal rent should be set at the last rent paid by the rent-controlled tenant. Landlord claimed that the apartment was deregulated because the rent was over $2,000 per month. Landlord also had sent a late initial registration, so it claimed that the rent shouldn't be reduced. Court: Landlord loses. The last rent-controlled rent was $1,890 and, applying special guidelines, tenant's rent would have lawfully been set at over $2,000. But even though that rent was subject to high-rent deregulation, landlord still had to send an initial registration form, and tenant had the right to file a timely fair market rent appeal. Until landlord sent the initial registration form to tenant, the legal rent remained the last rent-controlled rent. Landlord sent the initial registration form late. So for the period before it was sent, tenant's legal rent was $1,890. For the period after it was sent, the collectible rent was $6,000 per month, as charged. The court also pointed out that this rent was subject to a fair market rent appeal challenge, which tenant apparently was filing.
430 Realty Co. v. Heftler: NYLJ, 9/6/00, p. 23, col. 4 (Civ. Ct. NY; Hoffman, J)