Tenant Seeks Return of Overcharge Amount in Court
LVT Number: 12330
Tenant sued landlord in 1996 for rent overcharges resulting from landlord's failure to comply with two DHCR orders. The DHCR had ruled for tenant in 1987, finding a rent overcharge. The DHCR had further reduced tenant's rent in 1989 based on a reduction in services. Landlord had never reduced tenant's rent as a result of these orders. The court ruled against tenant, finding that tenant's claim was time-barred. Tenant appealed. The appeals court ruled for tenant in part. Since tenant had filed her original rent overcharge complaint with the DHCR, tenant was required to seek enforcement of the agency's rent overcharge ruling through the DHCR. Tenant should have enforced the DHCR's order either by offsetting the overcharge against her rent or getting a judgment. However, tenant could sue landlord for new overcharges resulting from landlord's failure to reduce tenant's rent, going back four years from the date she started the court case. The court sent the case back for a trial.
Crimmins v. Handler & Co.: NYLJ, p. 26, col. 3 (4/16/98) (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Sullivan, JP, Rubin, Mazzarelli, Andrias, JJ)