Matter of 98 Riverside Drive LLC v. NYS Div. of Housing & Community Renewal
NEW YORK COUNTY
Justice Cynthia Kern
Owner challenged New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal's (DHCR) denial of owner's Petition for Administrative Review which sought to vacate DHCR's rent administrator's (RA) order reducing the rent in an apartment based on a finding owner discontinued electric inclusion there. Tenants, after receiving electric bills directly from ConEd, filed an application to reduce their rent with DHCR alleging service reductions, claiming electricity was included in their rent and owner unilaterally switched from master to direct metering. The RA reduced the rent for certain rent-controlled tenants, which was confirmed by DHCR's commissioner. The court found DHCR's decision had a rational basis as it was rational for DHCR to find owner improperly reduced services to the building by failing to comply with requirements of the Rent Stabilization Law and the Rent Stabilization Code. It was also rational for DHCR to find the reduction in services was not cured by owner's reimbursement plan, noting also owner directed ConEd to remove the metering system before owner filed the proper application with DHCR to exclude electricity. Thus, owner's petition was denied.