Rent History Accepted on Appeal
LVT Number: 11153
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. The DRA ruled for tenant, finding that landlord didn't submit a full rent history. The DRA found that the overcharge was willful and imposed triple damages. Landlord appealed. Landlord submitted copies of missing leases with its PAR and pointed out that it had been unable to submit them to the DRA because it gave the leases to new landlord when it sold the building. Landlord had submitted to the DRA sworn statements from prior tenants stating how much rent they paid. Landlord had thought this was sufficient. The DHCR ruled for landlord. Landlord gave a reasonable explanation for its failure to produce the complete rent history. The DRA never specifically asked for the missing leases or informed landlord that prior tenants' sworn statements weren't acceptable proof. Landlord also showed that the small actual overcharge wasn't willful since it resulted from the compounding of guideline increases during the same rent guideline period. The total overcharge finding was reduced from $8,600 to $3,700.
Carpio: DHCR Adm. Rev. Dckt. No. JB410219RO (9/20/96) [4-page document]