301 HOLDINGS, L.L.C., Respondent, v. Sara L. MATTO, Appellant.
301 Holdings, L.L.C., Respondent, v. Marie E. Wahn, Appellant.
301 Holdings, L.L.C., Respondent, v. James B. Eaton, Appellant.
Order and judgment entered May 3, 2000 (Norman C. Ryp, J.) affirmed, with $25 costs.
In this plenary action, Civil Court properly granted judgment in favor of plaintiff landlord for rent arrears resulting from defendants' failure to pay the full amount of their respective rent controlled rents over an extended period. The record shows that in October 1992, DHCR authorized a reduction of closet space in the subject apartments to accommodate a new plumbing system, resulting in a permanent rent reduction of four dollars per month for each affected closet. We reject defendants' argument that landlord was required to first obtain a rent restoration order from the agency before collecting subsequent rent control increases. Pursuant to DHCR Policy Statement (90-1), “․ if the rent reduction has been granted for a failure to provide a service which ․ cannot be considered detrimental to the health of the tenant(s), then the MCR increase ․ will be collectible”. Manifestly, the de minimus reduction of closet space cannot be equated with a failure to provide essential services which would require owner certification before rent increases may be collected. Since DHCR's interpretation of the statutes it administers, if not unreasonable, is entitled to deference (Matter of Salvati v. Eimicke, 72 N.Y.2d 784, 537 N.Y.S.2d 16, 533 N.E.2d 1045), the judgment for rent is affirmed.
To the extent that DHCR, in a proceeding concerning a rent stabilized tenant in the same building affected by the same rent reduction, determined that the owner was required to file an application to restore rent under section 2523.3 of the Rent Stabilization Code, that determination is not dispositive in this action against rent controlled tenants since DHCR Policy Statement (90-1) applies only to rent controlled tenants. Rent control and rent stabilization are distinct regulatory schemes and differences in treatment of housing accommodations under each scheme is not unusual (see, 8200 Realty Corp. v. Lindsay, 27 N.Y.2d 124, 137-138, 313 N.Y.S.2d 733, 261 N.E.2d 647).