Rent Hearings - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I receive a Notice of Hearing? In all cases, you will receive a Notice of Hearing and in most cases, it will be mailed to you at least 14 days prior to the date of hearing. The Notice of Hearing will advise you of the time and place of the hearing and include some basic information about the issues to be considered and hearing procedures.
What if the hearing is scheduled on a date when I am not available? If it is impossible for you to attend the hearing on the scheduled date, you must request an adjournment by contacting your assigned ALJ by telephone or e-mail (see the Notice of Hearing for contact information). The request must be made at least 3 business days prior to the hearing date. The hearing will not be adjourned unless for good cause.
How do I find out which ALJ is assigned to my case? The Notice of Hearing will contain your assigned ALJ’s name and telephone number.
Can I contact the ALJ prior to the hearing to discuss my case? No, unless all parties are present, the ALJ cannot discuss the facts of your case prior to a hearing.
Do I have to be represented by an attorney at the hearing? No. You may represent yourself. Additionally, you may be represented by a non-attorney who is determined by the ALJ to be qualified to protect your rights. However, we strongly recommend that you be represented by an attorney. For hearing purposes, the DHCR does not provide free legal representation. However, you may qualify for free legal representation and services from an organization such as the Legal Aid Society or other non-profit legal entity.
How should I prepare for the hearing? It may be helpful to make a list of all the information relating to your case and which you may want to present. Persons who have knowledge of your case should be asked to attend the hearing and testify on your behalf.
Where will the hearing be held? Due to COVID-19, all hearings are currently be conducted remotely via videoconference.
What will happen at the hearing? The ALJ will determine how the hearing will proceed. This decision will be based on which party is requesting the action and on what would be the most practical and orderly way to develop the issues in the case. Before the hearing begins, the ALJ will explain the procedures to be followed. If you are confused about the procedures or other matters, you should let the ALJ know. You may ask procedural questions at any appropriate time during the hearing. The ALJ will allow each party to present witnesses and other evidence. The ALJ will also permit each party to question the other party’s witnesses. This is called “cross-examination.” The ALJ may limit presentation of evidence if it is repetitive or irrelevant. A record of everything that is said will be made at the hearing, so it is important that you speak in an audible, clear voice. The ALJ will attempt to determine the truth and to understand and fairly evaluate the position of each party. In doing so, the ALJ may ask questions of you, the agency representative, or any witness at the hearing.
Will the ALJ ask for additional information after the hearing? At the close of the hearing, the ALJ may ask the parties to submit a post-hearing submission within a fixed time-period (typically 60 days). The post-hearing submission assists the ALJ in his, her or their deliberations and provides the parties an opportunity to present their evaluation of the evidence at the hearing in an organized form (new evidence must not be submitted and will not be considered).

When will I receive a Decision/Order in my case? 

There is no set period of time when a Decision/Order will be issued in your case, however, the Office of Rent Administrations will endeavor to issue it within a reasonable period of time. 

Can I request a hearing from the Hearings Unit? No, the Hearings Unit only accepts in-agency referral requests for hearings.
What will happen if I do not appear at the hearing? If you fail to appear, the hearing will proceed without you and the DHCR will, without further consultation with you, make a determination based solely on the evidence of record, including that received at the hearing.
Can I get a transcript (written record) of the hearing? Yes, you must write to the Hearings Unit to request a copy of the transcript. After the transcript is ready, you will be provided with details concerning how to obtain a copy of the transcript. You will have to pay a fee to the transcription company for the cost of preparing and mailing the transcript.
Is there any further appeal from the agency’s final decision? If the final decision is not in your favor, you may have the right to appeal via the submission of an Article 78 (Civil Practice Law and Rules) in court within 60 days of the date of the Deputy Commissioner’s Order.
Confidential information Every person submitting evidence to the Hearings Unit has the responsibility to ensure that no information protected by privacy or confidentiality laws is contained in any document. This means that the person submitting a document has the responsibility to redact (black out) or remove any protected private or confidential information, including but not limited to a social security number.
Americans with Disabilities Act In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing a special accommodation to participate in a hearing should contact their assigned ALJ no later than 7 days prior to the hearing.