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Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby flybyme03 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:55 pm

After getting the rental history of my building and meeting with a non-profit tenant group, I filed an Administrative Determination of my Legal rent. The rent went from $385/month in 2003 (former rent stabilized tenant) to $2100 (just over the dereg threshold in 2003)... needless to say, there was not over $100,000 put into it, and I've been overpaying ever since. Also, there were 2 separate registrations for my one building (same DoB number) and fraud of previous tenants with their names spelled slightly differently or reversed. I sent all this documentation along with a notarized letter and forms describing all the nitty gritty details and testimonies from previous tenants.

I looked up the case status and it was received and is now actively being processed since April 28th 2016. This is past the time frame mentioned on the DHCR documents (2-6 months, or more). So being that Im in the "or more" period is there anyone who knows how long that could be? I've been told 5 years by some people, which I'm hoping isn't the norm
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby TenantNet » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:05 pm

Appears that what you filed is commonly called a PAR (Petition for Administrative Review). This is an appeal of a lower decision from DHCR (commonly called a DRA or DRO for District Rent Administrator/Office decision).

You're implying that the jump at the time (2003) was due primarily to various improvements (IAI or Individual Apartment Improvements) in addition to regular vacancy increases, correct?

DHCR gets behind on its case processing ... VERY behind ... thanks to Gov., Cuomo who has been defunding the agency for years. I've seen cases take up to five years depending on the type of case being processed. OTOH, I've seen some cases decided in 10 months. There's no rhyme or reason.

Can't comment on your case as you've given no information. BUT as you probably know there's usually a 4 year statute of limitations on overcharges. But that doesn't apply to determining RS status. You don't say, does the LL consider you to be RS? Or did he deregulate the unit back in 2003?

Do some research on the GRIMM case ... in some circumstances if there's fraud, DHCR can go beyond the four years looking at overcharges. Just search "Grimm" on this forum.

Also research the ALTMAN case, which is still being appealed by the landlord. If affirmed it might impact tenants whose rent jumped if the LL tried to deregulated the unit after claiming the new rent was $2,000 or above.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby flybyme03 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:29 pm

Thank you so much for specifying that there is no rhyme or reason to it, and that DHCR are way behind on cases. Sounds about like everything else I've heard. Now I will have plenty of time to research the GRIMM and ALTMAN cases.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby dzdz » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:33 pm

An Administrative Determination ("AD") is different from a Petition for Administrative Review ("PAR"). A PAR would be filed after a determination by the DHCR, whereas the request for AD can simply be in the form of a letter to the DHCR asking them to make a decision about something.

To the original poster, you might consider making an Overcharge Complaint instead of the request for AD. The AD process is sort of redundant, because the issue of whether or not the apartment is rent stabilized would be addressed by the DHCR within the Overcharge Complaint.

2 pieces of advice:

1.) Complaints via the DHCR take a long time, and don't expect them to be fair, rational or consistent in whatever determination they make. On the other hand, its free.

2.) Very Important. Make sure that you present all the evidence and arguments of fraud that you possibly can during the complaint process with the DHCR. If you decide to appeal the agency's decision in court later via Article 78 you will be limited to whatever arguments you make in your complaint to the DHCR.

I would like to echo the moderator's advice to look up Grimm and related cases. Grimm forced the state to change and incorporate the decision into the laws of RS. The key idea is that you need to present strong indicia (not necessarily evidence) of fraud in order to compel the DHCR to look back past the 4 year statute of limitations.

Finally, good luck!
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby dzdz » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:36 pm

flybyme03 wrote:I looked up the case status and it was received and is now actively being processed since April 28th 2016. This is past the time frame mentioned on the DHCR documents (2-6 months, or more). So being that Im in the "or more" period is there anyone who knows how long that could be? I've been told 5 years by some people, which I'm hoping isn't the norm


In my experience I would say "years" would be more than the norm.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby TenantNet » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:33 pm

There is such an animal called Administrative Determination (AD), but it's not necessarily the same thing as a DRO/DRA decision. For example, see http://www.nyshcr.org/Apps/RentReg/Admi ... cedure.pdf -- or
http://www.nyshcr.org/Apps/RentReg/Rest ... dments.pdf

DRO's are usually what one sees having filed an overcharge. reduction of service or other complaint. Generically they're known as "administrative proceedings" handled by submission of evidence and arguments on paper. And on rare occasions, DHCR can conduct actual hearings where in-person testimony is made.

AD's are not as common for the type of cases tenants usually see.

Can't be absolutely certain. but in context it sounded to me like the tenant filed a PAR, not an AD.

As for speed, I've seen five years, but I've also seen five months.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby dzdz » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:49 am

The point I was hoping to make to the original poster is if they had requested an Administrative Determination they might want to consider or ask the tenant's group that assisted them about filing an Overcharge Complaint instead. The poster only mentions asking for a determination to establish the legal rent. It is implied that there may be substantial overcharges involved, however there was no indication the AD addresses this.

But it is up to the poster to clarify the issue about what exactly they filed with DHCR...

Also, you could always write a letter to the Rent Administrator, the Tenant Protection Unit and/or the Attorney General giving your docket number and describing your situation and asking them to expedite your case.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:32 pm

Yes, the OP should clarify just what was filed, but the context was a PAR.

The AG has nothing to do with DHCR and probably would ignore such a request. Many wonder if the so-called Tenant Protection Unit really exists. I don't know of any tenant advocate that would be willing to say the TPU has been effective.

Neither the AG nor the TPU can expedite a case being handled in another bureau. There would have to be special reasons to put one case in front of others ... the tenants in those cases would, most likely, say their case is just as important.

I know one person supposedly with the TPU has a reputation for being rabidly pro-landlord and has denied tenants basic procedural rights in DHCR cases he's handled in the past.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby flybyme03 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:06 pm

Hi, Original poster here. Thanks for clarifying the difference. Yes, this is an Administrative Determination on the stabilization and what that rent should be. The apartment was deregulated illegally based off of fraudulant/non existant paperwork, the proof of which i have filed with the AD notorized statement letter. The situation is complicated but Ive worked with a tenant rights group and followed up with statements from other tenants to show the lack of proper filing/accounting.

Im wondering if the AD is in my favor (eventually), the landlord can still file a PAR, so that adds more time. So how does the timefrme breakdown? My apartment is slowly falling apart and i wonder how much longer it can go as i play this game.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby dzdz » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:56 pm

After the DHCR decision either party can file a PAR. For instance, if the decision is "in your favor" but that you disagree with part of their determination you might wish to file a PAR. After the PAR process you (or the LL) have the option to file an Article 78 (appeal of a state agency's decision) in court. You are limited in Article 78 proceedings by the arguments to make in your original complaint. So its wise to make sure your evidence is complete during your correspondence with DHCR.

If the legal rent is established to be lower than what you are paying now you are entitled to recoup significant overcharges. An Overcharge Complaint with the DHCR would address this, as well as establishing the rent stabilized status of your apartment. You might wish to ask the tenants group you consulted about this.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby Cazmia » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:04 pm

I usually don't interject on posts that are not my own, but DHCR uses letters to categorize their proceedings, making it easier to determine what sort of proceeding it is.

Currently, a rent overcharge complaint will generally have the letters "RO" in the case number. A determination actually contains the letters "AD", etc

I would personally go to my local DHCR office and ask them the questions. The tenant help organizations I know of locally don't advise on that sort of thing.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby TenantNet » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:08 pm

Thanks Cazmia,

Yes, DHCR docket numbers can tell you a lot. We've had this up for quite some time: http://tenant.net/DHCR_info/pubs/docket.html

DHCR has a newer version at http://www.nyshcr.org/Apps/casestatus/docketnumbers.pdf and that is good until 2037.

But an overcharge complaint ends with just "R" and not "RO" as the latter is for "Review Owner" and indicates a PAR proceeding.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby flybyme03 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:05 pm

OP Here Again, Really Thank You all I'm stilll waiting, but definitely less anxious seeing as it could be years!
This site has been helpful with understanding things like docket numbers. I can confirm my Docket Number begins with and AD for Administrative Determination filed in 2016.
Also if anyone is still following this, can I file a Rent Overcharge as well, or is this no longer an option because I've got an AD docket number for the case?
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby TenantNet » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:24 pm

Without re-reading everything above, I'm assuming the AD had to do with RS status (and not overcharge), then I would think that an overcharge complaint would be appropriate.
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Re: Administrative Review Filed 9 months ago

Postby flybyme03 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:46 pm

I received a response in my Administrative Determination case for my claim of illegal deregulation against my landlord. The information supplied stated gut renovation with full rewiring of electrical an plumbing along with soundboards, and removal and replacement of floors, tiles, and all walls At the end was the number $75,000 with a sales tax added, although nothing was itemized on the piece of paper (not a contract).

Following legal consultation, I am now going to schedule an HPD inspector to come by and document the construction, which clearly shows new floors over old floors, new tiles over old tiles and walls without insulation that are crumbling. Additionally, I am looking to see where I can find the permits that would have to be filed for this kind of work. I've gone through the DOBs building information search and cannot find anything there. Is there another place I can look, as the amount of work they are claiming would have to have had permits at the time.
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