No Triple Damages for Landlord's Overcharge Error
LVT Number: 8161
(Decision submitted by Patrick K. Munson of the Manhattan law firm of Kucker Kraus & Bruh, attorneys for the landlord.) Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. The DHCR ruled for tenant, but found that the overcharge wasn't willful. So, landlord didn't have to pay triple damages. Tenant appealed, claiming that he should get triple damages. The court ruled against tenant. Landlord had renovated the apartment before tenant moved in at a cost of over $18,000. Landlord thought this entitled it to a free market rent because the configuration of the apartment was changed. But, in order for landlord to collect a free market rent, the DHCR requires a change in the outer walls of an apartment. The DHCR considered all the circumstances surrounding the overcharge and found that landlord wasn't trying to defraud tenant; landlord simply had made a mistake about the rule. The court found that the DHCR's decision was reasonable.
Myers v. D'Agosta: Index No. 31043/92 (5/10/93) (Sup. Ct. NY; Schackman, J) [7-page document]