Smaller Apartment Isn't Comparable
LVT Number: 12857
Tenant complained that the first rent-stabilized rent for his apartment was more than the fair market rent. The DRA ruled for tenant, and landlord appealed. Landlord claimed the DRA should have considered the rent of a comparable apartment landlord had submitted in calculating the fair market rent. The DHCR ruled against landlord. The comparable rent submitted by landlord was for a three-room apartment in the same building. Tenant's apartment contained five rooms. Landlord had argued under the annual rent guidelines, a ''comparable apartment'' can't have a greater number of rooms than tenant's apartment. So it's okay if the comparable apartment has fewer rooms. Tenant pointed out that the vacancy guideline specifically referred to apartments having the same room count. The local Rent Guidelines Board's meeting minutes showed that the Board had rejected a motion to after the vacancy guideline to include apartments with fewer rooms when setting a vacancy rent. The Board has consistently defined a comparable apartment as one with the same services and number of rooms, not a smaller or larger unit.
Beacon Hill Apts.: DHCR Adm. Rev. Dckt. No. KA910107RO (7/80) [4-page document]