No Triple Damages for Billing Error
LVT Number: 18211
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. The DRA ruled for tenant and ordered a refund of $7,500, including triple damages for a willful overcharge. Landlord appealed. Tenant had a preferential rent during one lease term. Upon renewal, landlord was entitled to collect full legal rent plus a guidelines increase. Landlord continued to bill tenant the preferential rent for part of the lease term, and then increased the rent. Landlord couldn't change the rent amount mid-lease, so there was an overcharge. But the overcharge couldn't be considered willful, since it was based on a billing error and tenant benefited from landlord's error. So the triple damages were revoked.
Second Lenox Terrace Assoc.: DHCR Adm. Rev. Dckt. No. TD410023RO (5/18/05) [3-pg. doc.]