STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
-------------------------------------X ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE DOCKET NO.: BH130235RT
DOCKET NO.: QCS000974OM
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named petitioner-tenant filed an administrative appeal
against an order issued on July 8, 1987 by the Rent Administrator
(92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, NY) concerning the housing
accommodations known as 35-55 73rd Street, Apt. 626, Jackson
Heights, NY, wherein the Administrator granted major capital
improvement (MCI) rent increases for the controlled and stabilized
apartments in the subject premises based on the installation of new
windows and new roof, at the premises.
The owner withdrew the claimed cost of the oil burner installation
from this application.
In response to the application, the petitioner filed an answer
(dated January 16, 1986) stating that 1) the present rent is higher
than allowed by law; 2) objected to the rent increase and 3)
complained of banging from the ceiling.
The Rent Administrator's order, appealed herein, stated that
various tenants responded objecting to the increase, but made no
relevant complaint pertaining to the installations.
On appeal, the petitioner-tenant states, in substance, that, a) the
improvements were made prior to occupancy of the apartment; b)
increases for the work were charged prior to the renewal lease; c)
the present rent is higher than allowed by law and d) not receiving
adequate services in regard to a constant loud banging from pipes
within the ceiling.
ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO. BH-130235-RT
In response to the tenant's petition, the owner filed an answer
stating, in substance, that a) the tenant had occupied the
apartment since April 15, 1985 and signed a lease to March 31, 1987
then the lease was renewed for two years (copies of which were
submitted); b) this MCI increase is in accordance with the approved
rider, to the lease, signed by the tenant, consenting to any
increase approved by DHCR; c) there is no overcharge in rent and d)
as to the complaint of the noise in the radiator, all repairs
required have been made.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
The record discloses that the owner completed the installation of
a new roof and windows found to qualify as major capital
improvements; and that the increase authorized by the Administrator
was computed on the basis of the substantiated cost thereof. The
Commissioner finds that the tenant's objections does not constitute
a bar to an owner obtaining a major capital improvement rent
increase which is otherwise warranted.
The Commissioner notes, however, that the Rent Stabilization code
and Rent Law preclude an owner from collecting an increase
predicated on a major capital improvement unless and until an order
is issued by the Division authorizing the collection of same; and
that the order under appeal excluded the collection of the increase
during the term of an existing lease unless it contains specific
authority for the earlier collection of same.
The undisputed evidence of record in the instant case confirms that
the vacancy lease executed by the tenant contains information to
enabled the owner to collect an MCI rent increase upon the issuance
of an order.
The determination herein is without prejudice to the rights of the
tenant to file an appropriate complaint of rent overcharge with the
Division, if the facts so warrant.
As to the tenant's contention with respect to the maintenance of
services, a review of Division records discloses that there were no
rent reduction orders outstanding against the subject premises
based on the owner's failure to maintain services of a building-
wide nature at the time the Administrator's order was issued nor do
the records of the Division indicate the existence of violations
reflecting an immediately hazardous condition as of said date. The
determination herein is without prejudice to the right of the
tenant to file a service complaint with the Division of Housing and
Community and Renewal, if the facts so warrant.
ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO. BH-130235-RT
On the basis of the entire evidence of record, it is found that the
Administrator's order is correct and should be affirmed.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the
Rent Stabilization Law and Code, the Rent and Eviction Regulations
for the City of New York, and Operational Bulletin 84-1, it is
ORDERED, that the administrative appeal be, and the same hereby is
denied; and that the Administrator's order be, and hereby is
Joseph A. D'Agosta