Landlord's Default Not Excused
LVT Number: #21098
Tenants complained of a rent overcharge. The DRA ruled for tenants. The amounts of the overcharges were set using the DHCR's default method because landlord didn't answer the notice of tenants' complaints. Landlord appealed, claiming that it never received the notice of tenants' complaints. The DHCR ruled against landlord. Tenants filed their complaints in May 2007. The DRA sent the notice to landlord at the address contained in the DHCR's records. The mail was returned by the Post Office as "attempted--not known." The DRA then asked tenants for landlord's address. They told the DRA that the building super picked up their rent in person. They gave the DRA the landlord's address listed on their leases and the address for landlord listed by the New York State Department of State. The DRA sent notices, including final notices of triple damages, to these addresses, as well as to the address listed on HPD's records as landlord's address. These also were returned by the Post Office. The Rent Stabilization Code requires landlord to file a change of address form with the DHCR within 30 days, and to list its address on annual registration forms. Landlord had not filed a change of address, and hadn't registered the building since 2005. The DRA made extraordinary efforts to locate landlord, but all correspondence either was refused or unclaimed.
373 8th Street Realty: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket Nos. WG210073RO, WG210074RO (11/18/08) [2-pg. doc.]