Willful Rent Overcharge of $175K Based on 2002 Rent Reduction Order
LVT Number: #31356
Rent-stabilized tenant complained to the DHCR of rent overcharge in 2017. Tenant had moved into the apartment in 2010. The DRA ruled for tenant. The base rent date was Apr. 27, 2013. The DRA had issued a separate rent reduction order in 2002 that was effective on Aug. 1, 2001. The order remained in place and, as a result, tenant's collectible rent was frozen at $660 at all times since the rent reduction order's effective date. The total overcharge to date, including interest and triple damages, was almost $175,000.
Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord argued that prior landlord was deceased and the truth of tenant's overcharge claims therefore couldn't be verified. But that was irrelevant. In 2010, New York's highest court ruled, in Cintron v. Calogero, that a pre-base date rent reduction order could be considered by the DHCR for the purpose of calculating a rent overcharge because such orders created a "continuing obligation" on landlords to reduce the rent until the required services were restored and the DHCR granted a rent restoration order.
VKNC Realty LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. IU410020RO (3/10/21) [5-pg. doc.]