No Triple Damages Where Tenant Owed Significant Rent Arrears

LVT Number: #30124

Rent-stabilized tenant complained of rent overcharge. The DRA found an overcharge of $4,225, including interest. But no refund was due since tenant owed $54,000 in back rent. Tenant appealed and lost. Tenant claimed that two prior tenancies were illusory or nonexistent and that landlord therefore committed fraud. But the DRA reasonably relied on the signed leases and rent registrations that supported the two prior tenancies. Landlord's documentation also supported the claimed individual apartment improvements (IAIs) that resulted in legal rent increases.

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Attalla: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. GT210014RT (3/4/19) [5-pg. doc.]