Tenant's Answer to Deregulation Application Filed 10 Days Late
LVT Number: 13228
Facts: Landlord applied for high-rent/high-income deregulation of tenant's rent-stabilized apartment. The DRA sent tenant notice of landlord's application, advising tenant that he had 60 days to submit an answer. Tenant's answer was postmarked 10 days after the 60-day deadline. Ten months later, the DRA ruled for landlord based on tenant's failure to submit an answer on time. Tenant appealed to the DHCR and lost. Tenant then brought a court case, claiming that the DHCR's decision was unreasonable. The court ruled for tenant. The DHCR and landlord appealed, pointing out that, in many cases, the courts had already ruled that the 60-day deadline was absolute. Court: The DHCR and landlord lose. In the other cases, tenants never answered the DRA's notice of the deregulation application before the DRA issued an order. In this case, there had been only a slight delay and tenant had submitted information showing that his household income was below the deregulation threshold. The DHCR itself hadn't complied with other deadlines in the law for giving notice to tenant of landlord's application and for issuing an order. The 60-day tenant response deadline also should be considered advisory rather than mandatory.
Elkin v. Roldan: NYLJ, p. 26, col. 2 (4/15/99) (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Ellerin, PJ, Wallach, Mazzarelli, Andrias, JJ)