Tenant's Fair Market Rent Appeal In New York

In DBL Realty Corp. v. Zavala (166 Misc 2d 736 [App Term, 1st Dept 1995]), the landlord commenced a nonpayment action seeking arrears of $ 800 per month from April through June 1993. The rental amount in the petition was the same as that set forth in the tenant's original lease signed in September 1989. Although the landlord had filed registration statements in 1990 and subsequent years, the landlord failed to file an initial registration when the first rent-stabilized tenant took occupancy in 1988, but eventually did so in May 1993 subsequent to the commencement of the nonpayment proceeding. The tenant had filed a fair market rent appeal that was pending before DHCR at the time of the nonpayment action. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the tenant on the issue of the landlord's liability for rent overcharges and treble damages. In reversing, the Appellate Term noted that the court below had not given proper effect to the provisions of RRRA 1993, specifically Administrative Code 26-517 (e) and 26-516 (a). As in Blount, the court preserved the tenant's fair market rent appeal. (See also, Gruss v. Cheung, NYLJ, Jan. 25, 2000, at 26, col 1 [App Term, 1st Dept].)