New Landlord Must Pay Triple Damages for Prior Landlord's Willful Overcharge

LVT Number: #30297

Rent-stabilized tenant complained of rent overcharge. The DRA ruled for tenant and ordered landlord to refund $29,190, including triple damages and reflecting a deduction based on landlord's prior refund to tenant. Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord argued that shortly after he received tenant's complaint, he reduced her rent. He had just bought the building from prior landlord and hadn't willfully overcharged tenant. But prior landlord's willfulness is imputed to successor landlords in terms of responsibility for overcharges and penalties. A new landlord "steps into the shoes" of prior landlord. It didn't matter whose fault the overcharge was. [Download PDF of decision here.]

Li: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. GT110017RO (6/5/19) [3-pg. doc.]