Landlord Separated One Apartment into Three New Deregulated Units

LVT Number: #29815

Tenant complained of rent overcharge and lease violation. The DRA ruled against tenant, who appealed and lost. Tenant claimed that her apartment was improperly deregulated and that landlord failed to offer a proper rent-stabilized renewal lease. In 1997, landlord had combined former apartments 8A, 8B, and 8C into a new apartment 8ABC and charged the last tenant of that unit $7,600 per month in 2006. When that tenant moved out, landlord separated Apartment 8ABC into three new apartments, again designated as 8A, 8B, and 8C. The complaining tenant occupied Apt. 8B and argued that landlord committed fraud and that the rent for new Apt. 8B should have been frozen at the last rent registered for former Apt. 8B.

The DHCR found that the use of a rental history in a pre-1997 registration for an apartment that didn't exist for over 11 years was unreasonable. The creation of Apt. 8ABC formed a new rental history for the apartment as did the separation back to three individual units. And the new apartments weren't the same as the prior 8A, 8B, and 8C. There was no proof of fraud, and landlord was entitled to set first rents for newly created apartments under DHCR Operational Bulletin 95-2. [Download PDF of decision here.]

Mori/Sharma: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. GM410034RT (10/12/18) [5-pg. doc.]