Landlord Proves Rent Charged on Base Date Was Preferential Rent
LVT Number: #27692
Rent-stabilized tenant complained of rent overcharge. The DRA ruled for tenant and ordered landlord to refund $7,555 with triple damages. Landlord appealed and won. The DRA incorrectly ruled that a preferential rent, rather than the legal regulated rent, was the base date rent. There was no valid exception to the four-year rule in this case that warranted setting the preferential rent as the legal base date rent. Tenant's 2011 vacancy lease contained both a legal regulated rent of $1,587 and a preferential rent of $875. Prior landlord submitted to the DRA the base date lease showing that the lower rent was preferential. So there was no there was no reason to ask landlord to submit any lease in effect prior to the base date. Piercing of the four-year review period for a preferential rent occurs only when the complaining tenant is in occupancy on the base date and pre-base date leases are required to establish the legal regulated rent. Once a prior legal regulated rent is verified on a former tenant's lease on the base date or otherwise within the four-year review period, no further inquiry is needed under Rent Stabilization Code Section 2521.2. There was no rent overcharge in this case.
St. Nicholas 24, LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. ES410059RO (3/24/17) [5-pg. doc.]