Vacancy Deregulation of Tenant's Apartment Was Legal
LVT Number: #31755
Tenant complained in July 2019 of rent overcharge and improper deregulation of his apartment. The DRA ruled against tenant, who appealed and lost. Although tenant paid $2,100 per month when he moved into the unit in May 2019, the legal rent at that time was over $2,700, and therefore the apartment was vacancy-deregulated. The DHCR could look past the base date to determine if the apartment was taken out of rent stabilization improperly. The DRA correctly found that the unit was vacant on the base date. The DRA appropriately determined that the apartment was vacant between 2013 and 2018, that the last rent in 2013 was $634, and that landlord was entitled to increase the rent form 2013 by applying rent increases for vacancy, longevity, and IAIs. Tenant claimed fraud in his PAR but didn't raise this as an issue before the DRA. But even if the DHCR considered the fraud claim at this point, there was no proof supporting this claim. Landlord also submitted sufficient proof that IAIs done while the apartment was vacant cost over $150,000. Extensive improvements after the prior 30-year tenancy also were reasonable. The prior tenant's monthly legal rent was $4,652. So, tenant's rent was subject to vacancy deregulation.
Judkins: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. JP410018RT (11/12/21)[8-pg. document]