Landlord v. Tenant: January 2020
No Overcharge Where Tenant Paid Less Than Legal Regulated Rent
Rent-stabilized tenant complained of rent overcharge. The DRA ruled against tenant, finding no overcharge. Tenant appealed, claiming fraud by landlord. The DHCR ruled against tenant, who then filed an Article 78 court appeal. Tenant claimed that the DHCR's decision was arbitrary and unreasonable. The court ruled against tenant. The DHCR's decision was rationally based, and tenant didn't present sufficient proof of fraud. The $1,720 rent set when tenant moved in was the legal regulated rent. Tenant also didn't pay more than the monthly share of $1,127 set by an HPD Regulatory Agreement for the apartment. In later years, tenant's rent was further reduced because he received a Section 8 rent subsidy.
- Mbow v. DHCR: 2019 NY Slip Op 33435(U), Index No. 151423/2019 (Sup. Ct. NY; 11/21/19)
Landlord Can Replace Gas Stoves with Electric Stoves
Landlord asked the DHCR for permission to modify building services by converting cooking service from gas to electric and to replace gas stoves with electric stoves. The DRA ruled for landlord, without any change to the legal rents. Tenant appealed and lost. She claimed that her utility costs would now be higher. But it's DHCR policy that when tenant had been paying for cooking fuel separate from the rent, the service that landlord was required to provide was cooking facilities for tenants, not the fuel. In replacing gas-burning stoves with electric stoves, landlord was still providing the required cooking facilities and there was no decrease in services. This was a substitution in services, not a decrease in services, and no permanent rent reduction was warranted.
- Morahan: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. HQ410021RT (10/2/19)