Landlord Proved Apartment Improvements Costing $28,000
LVT Number: #20743
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. The DRA ruled against tenant. Landlord charged tenant an initial rent of more than $2,000 per month. This rent was supported by adding a 20 percent vacancy increase, recent MCI rent hike of $43, and apartment improvement increase of $703 to prior tenant's rent. Tenant appealed, claiming that landlord's apartment improvement costs were excessive and questionable.
The DHCR ruled against tenant. The DRA correctly found that landlord proved "1/40th" improvement expenses totalling $28,150. Tenant showed that the items landlord purchased could have been purchased for less from another vendor. But landlord wasn't required to make improvements at the cheapest cost. Tenant also questioned whether items such as bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen cabinets were custom-made, as landlord claimed. But tenant's unsupported opinion wasn't grounds to deny any portion of the rent increase. Tenant also claimed for the first time on appeal that the appliances and repairs that were done were different from those listed on the contractor's invoice. Since tenant didn't raise this issue before the DRA, the DHCR couldn't consider it in response to tenant's PAR.
McDermott: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. WE410043RT (7/8/08) [3-pg. doc.]