Triple Damages Imposed
LVT Number: #24576
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. His monthly rent was $1,810. Landlord claimed that individual apartment improvements performed before tenant moved in resulted in a legal regulated rent for the apartment that was over $2,000, which at that time was above the luxury deregulation threshold. The DRA ruled against tenant, finding that the apartment was exempt from rent stabilization. Tenant appealed, arguing that the DRA didn't correctly analyze landlord's "1/40th" documentation. The DHCR ruled for tenant, finding that the apartment remained rent stabilized. The case was sent back to the DRA to calculate the overcharge. The DRA then ruled for tenant and ordered landlord to refund $22,500, including triple damages and interest. Landlord appealed, claiming that the overcharge wasn't willful and that it shouldn't be penalized for not registering tenant's apartment. The DHCR ruled against landlord. Although the DRA initially ruled that the apartment was exempt, landlord had notice that the proceeding was reopened and failed to refund overcharges before the overcharge ruling was issued. Landlord also failed, to date, to register the apartment, and therefore tenant's rent was correctly frozen as part of the overcharge calculation.
Side Kick Ridge Associates LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. ZA410002RO (11/15/12) [4-pg. doc.]