Landlord's Apartment Improvement Cost Records Appear to Be Altered
LVT Number: 19668
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. Landlord claimed that it made apartment improvements costing $29,000 and was entitled to a "1/40th" rent increase. The DRA accepted landlord's proof of the improvement costs and found no overcharge. Tenant appealed, claiming that landlord's proof was questionable. The DHCR ruled for tenant and reopened the case for further investigation. Many of the documents landlord submitted to the DRA were photocopies that looked as though the originals may have been altered. For example, the building address on a construction job estimate showing total agreed-upon costs was changed to the building next door. Both buildings were owned by landlord. In addition, dollar amounts at the top of one page appeared to have been whited out, as did some of the items under the "description" section of the document. Landlord's checks to the contractor all contained a box marked, "This check is delivered for payment on the following accounts," but it looked as if writing following that statement had been whited out on a number of checks.
DeArteaga: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. VA410003RT (2/13/07) [2-pg. doc.]
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