Tenant, Building Employee Prove Apartment Vacant on Base Date
LVT Number: #19686
(Decision submitted by Karen Schwartz-Sidrane of the Hewlett, N.Y., law firm of Sidrane & Schwartz-Sidrane, LLP, attorneys for the landlord.) Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. The DRA ruled for tenant based on landlord's failure to answer the complaint. The DRA ordered landlord to refund $14,500 to tenant, including triple damages for willful overcharge. Landlord appealed. Landlord had bought the building while tenant's complaint was pending and had advised the DHCR of the change in ownership. But the DRA never sent landlord a copy of tenant's complaint. So the DHCR considered new evidence submitted with landlord's PAR. Landlord submitted sworn statements from another building tenant and a building employee. Both stated that tenant's apartment was vacant during 2002 and 2003. Since the apartment was vacant on the base date of March 23, 2002, tenant's initial rent of $1,200 per month was the base rent. The DHCR ruled for landlord. There was no rent overcharge.
643 Prospect Place Realty: DHCR Adm. Rev. Dckt. No. VA210036RO (5/4/07) [3-pg. doc.]
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