June 8, 1993
Appeal from the Supreme Court, New York County (Franklin Weissberg, J.).
The duplex apartment which is the subject of this proceeding was created by combining two two-room apartments located on the fifth and sixth floors of the premises, a six-story, walk-up apartment building. Upon petitioner's failure to provide a complete rental history for the subject apartment (see, Matter of 61 Jane St. Assocs. v. New York City Conciliation Appeals Bd., 65 N.Y.2d 898), respondent established a comparable rent for the duplex by doubling the rent for a two-room apartment located in the same building. This method of establishing the rent is a reasonable expedient necessitated by the landlord's default in supplying rent records going back to the base rent date and, thus, is not a substantial departure from respondent's own precedents (see, Matter of Field Delivery Serv. [Roberts], 66 N.Y.2d 516, 519-520).
Concerning the imposition of treble damages, the record shows that petitioner willfully overcharged rent by requiring tenants to lease the apartment in a corporate name, even though petitioner knew the apartment would be used primarily for residential purposes, all pursuant to a scheme to evade the Rent Stabilization Code. The record does not support petitioner's claim that the apartment had been legally exempted from the requirements of the Rent Stabilization Code as a commercial unit.
Concur — Carro, J.P., Rosenberger, Ellerin, Wallach and Rubin, JJ.