Tenant Can't Challenge Rent Based on Incorrect Room Count
LVT Number: 13290
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. Landlord initially registered her apartment as having two rooms, when it in fact had one room. Tenant claimed that landlord was charging her for a two-room apartment instead of a one-room apartment. The DHCR ruled against tenant, and tenant appealed. The court ruled against tenant. Whether or not a rent-stabilized rent is legal has nothing to do with the number of rooms in an apartment. The only error that could occur based on an incorrect room count would be in calculating an MCI rent increase for the apartment. But there was no MCI rent increase at issue in this case. In addition, landlord's incorrect registration of the apartment as having two rooms was done in 1984. Tenant's complaint was filed in 1994, so the DHCR can't review apartment registrations filed prior to 1990.
Rothenberg v. DHCR: Index No. 404352/98 (3/1/99) (Sup. Ct. NY; Zweibel, J) [7-pg. doc.]