Landlord Ignored TPU Audit Determination

LVT Number: #28114

The DHCR's Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) conducted an audit and issued an Audit Determination Notice telling landlord to reduce tenant's rent as of April 1, 2013, to $575 per month and to refund a rent overcharge. When landlord failed to comply with the TPU's notice, the TPU opened a complaint of rent overcharge against landlord with the DRA. The DRA ruled for tenant, reduced tenant's legal rent to $460 per month using the default method, and ordered landlord to refund $106,000, including triple damages.

Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord claimed that the DRA should have used the TPU's calculation of the legal rent. But the TPU Audit Determination Notice wasn't an order and wasn't binding on the DRA. Tenant also wasn't a party to the TPU proceeding. Landlord also failed to comply with the Audit Determination Notice, made no refund, and continued to overcharge tenant for more than 10 months, then continued to overcharge tenant after getting notice of the complaint from the DRA. Landlord failed to submit rent history records to the DRA, and the DRA correctly applied the default formula to set tenant's rent. [Download PDF of decision here.]

Silvershore Properties 17 LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. EX210063RO (10/17/17) [5-pg. doc.]