Tenant Didn't Get Notice of Luxury Deregulation Application

LVT Number: #24498

Landlord applied in 2010 for high-rent/high-income deregulation of tenant's rent-stabilized apartment. The DRA ruled for landlord based on tenant's failure to respond to the DRA's notice of the application. Tenant appealed, claiming that he never received the DRA's notice. The DHCR ruled against tenant, who appealed. The court sent the case back to the DHCR for reconsideration. The DHCR then reopened the case. Tenant stated that he traveled frequently for extended periods in order to care for out-of-state family members. At these times, the building doorman accepted mail and packages for him. It was standard procedure at tenant's building for the doorman to do this. A return receipt for certified mail sent to tenant by the DRA was returned with a signature of someone other than tenant. Since it appeared that landlord's employee accepted tenant's mail, there could be no presumption that tenant received the DRA's notice of the application. So the DRA should verify tenant's income to determine whether the apartment should be deregulated.