Landlord Proved the Cost of IAIs
LVT Number: #31365
Rent-stabilized tenant complained of rent overcharge in 2017, claiming that prior landlord committed rent fraud. The DRA ruled against tenant, who appealed and lost. At the outset, the DHCR noted that the DRA incorrectly relied on HSTPA amendments and applied a retroactive six-year base date to the complaint. Based on the 2020 Regina case decision by NY's highest court, the lookback period was instead four years since the complaint was pending on June 14, 2019. This didn't change the fact that there was no overcharge. The apartment was vacant on the base rent date, and landlord submitted a copy of last rent-stabilized lease of the prior tenant before that date. Landlord also submitted proof of individual apartment improvements (IAIs) costing more than $54,000 for a gut renovation of the unit before tenant moved in. Landlord submitted sufficient proof of the IAIs, including a contractor application signed by both landlord and the contractor, contemporaneous invoices, contemporaneous cancelled checks, and a construction contract signed by the contractor and itemizing the scope of work. The IAIs included kitchen, bathroom, and other apartment renovations.
Steele: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. IT410001RK (3/17/21) [9-pg. doc.]