Tenant Showed No Proof of Fraud
LVT Number: #31353
Rent-stabilized tenant complained of rent overcharge in 2017. The DRA ruled against tenant, finding no overcharge. Tenant paid a preferential rent on the base rent date, and there had been no rent increase up to the time that tenant filed the complaint four years later. Tenant appealed and lost. Tenant argued that the DHCR should look further back than the four-year base date to determine if there was any overcharge. The initial apartment rent was established by a 1997 regulatory agreement before tenant moved into the unit in 2000. But tenant failed to produce any evidence sufficient to prove a fraudulent scheme to deregulate the apartment. The existence of a regulatory agreement, by itself, didn't open the door to review of records dating back 24 years. And there was no proof that the agreement barred landlord from charging a preferential rent. So, there was no grounds to challenge rental events that predated the July 31, 2013, base rent date.
Wiggins: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. IS210049RK (3/2/21) [3-pg. doc.]