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Scott E. Mollen Scott E. Mollen

Landlord-Tenant—Rent Overcharge Complaint Denied By DHCR—Article 78 Proceeding Dismissed—Apartment Had Been De-Stabilized Based on Individual Apartment Renovations—Work was Performed and Paid For—Rent Stabilization Code Does Not Require that Landlords Applying for IAI Increases Use Licensed Contractors and Obtain Required Permits—DHCR Had Discretion to Apply a Bulletin Retroactively

A petitioner tenant commenced an Article 78 proceeding, seeking to overturn an order of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) as arbitrary and capricious. The petition was denied and the proceeding dismissed.

The tenant initially occupied the subject apartment pursuant to a non-rent stabilized lease. He thereafter researched the apartment’s rent history and concluded that the apartment was “actually a rent-stabilized unit that the landlord had illicitly deregulated.” The landlord thereafter refused to offer the tenant a renewal lease. The tenant then filed a rent overcharge complaint (complaint) and continued to occupy the apartment as a month-to-month tenant. The lease had expired on May 31, 2011. DHCR denied the complaint.

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