No Triple Damages for Overcharge Based on Rent Reduction Order
LVT Number: #31700
Rent-stabilized tenant complained to the DHCR of rent overcharge in 2017, based on landlord's failure to comply with a rent freeze resulting from a rent reduction order. The DRA ruled for tenant and ordered landlord to refund $62,835, including interest and triple damages, after deducting a prior refund of $4,680.
Landlord appealed and won, in part. The DHCR revoked the triple damages, finding no willful overcharge based on the specific circumstances of the case. The rent reduction order had been issued in 1998, the DRA missed it himself when initially processing the case, tenant never paid more than the frozen rent amount, calculation of the lawful rent was difficult given the age of the rent reduction order, tenant's rent payments were irregular, and tenant received rental assistance, had rent arrears, and had been given a rent credit at some point. Interest was assessed on the entire overcharge, and the total refund due tenant was $28,487.
East 188 Realty 495 LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. JR610034RO (10/20/21)[3-pg. document]