Landlord v. Tenant: August 2017
Landlord Not Required to Seek Lowest Cost for IAIs
Tenant complained of rent overcharge. The DRA ruled for tenant and ordered landlord to refund $89, including interest. Tenant appealed and lost. The DRA had calculated the legal rent based on a vacancy increase, longevity increase, and a $505 monthly rent increase for individual apartment improvements (IAIs). Tenant disputed the $30,283 spent on IAIs, arguing that landlord didn't use a bidding process and used house workers and inflated the price. The DHCR noted that landlord wasn't required to use a bidding process or seek the lowest cost for IAIs. Landlord submitted a signed contract, contractor invoices, and cancelled checks proving its IAI cost. There was no additional overcharge.
· Richards: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. ES210056RT (4/24/17)
RENT STABILIZATION COVERAGE
Landlord Disputes Tenant's Reported Income in Luxury Deregulation Case
Landlord applied for high-rent/high-income deregulation of tenant's rent-stabilized apartment in 2014. The DRA ruled against landlord, finding that tenant's total annual household income was less than $200,000 in 2013.
Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord argued that tenant was an experienced and successful attorney who was counsel to a prominent, highly profitable law firm. This strongly indicated that tenant's salary must have been well in excess of $200,000 in both 2012 and 2013. But the DRA obtained tenant income information from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF), which showed that tenant's 2013 income was below the deregulation threshold according to filed income tax returns. And the DHCR wasn't authorized to make its own independent determination of what tenant's income was. The DHCR was required by law to rely on the reported DTF information concerning tenant's income.
· S&P Associates of New York, LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. EU410072RO (5/18/17)