STATE OF NEW YORK
                     DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

     ------------------------------------X 
     IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: BA 510363-RO
                                         :  
                                            DRO DOCKET NO.: ZAG 520011-UC

     ALICE M. DEAR         PETITIONER    : 
     ------------------------------------X                             

           ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

     On January 13, 1987 the above named petitioner-owner filed a Petition  for
     Administrative Review  against  an  order  issued  by  the  District  Rent
     Administrator located at Gertz Plaza, 92-31 Union  Hall  Street,  Jamaica,
     New York.  Said order was issued on December 10, 1986  and  concerned  the
     premises located at 400 West 149th Street, New York, New York.

     This case began July 28, 1986 when the petitioner filed an application  to
     determine whether the building was exempt from the Rent Stabilization Law. 
     In her application, the owner claimed that the building was completely  or
     substantially rehabilitated on or after January 1,  1974.   She  purchased
     the building in  1981.   It  then  contained  8  units.   The  substantial
     renovations  took  place  "over  the  past  several  years"  and  included
     rewiring, replumbing and replacing the chimney.

     The Administrator denied the application because  the  building  had  been
     converted to less than 5 units after the base date and  thus  all  tenants
     were still subject to rent stabilization.  The order made  no  mention  of
     the rehabilitation issue.    

     After careful review of the evidence in the record the Commissioner denies 
     the petition.

     The owner is incorrect in her belief that the  DHCR  policy  is  to  allow
     relief under the circumstances of conversion to less than six units.   The
     Commissioner has ruled, and the courts have affirmed, that what determines 
     stabilization coverage is the number of units in the building on the  base
     date of June 30, 1974.  DHCR records show that the building was previously 
     subject to Rent Control and contained more than six apartments on June 30, 
     1974.

     Turning to the issue of the rehabilitation, the Commissioner  finds  that,
     while the work done may have indeed been significant, it does not rise  to
     the level, of "substantial rehabilitation  "as  set  forth  in  the  Code.
     (Section 9NYCRR 2520.11).  Petitioner herself stated that the  renovations
     were "with minimal inconvenience and disruption to lifestyle in  instances
     where the apartment was occupied.  The fact that work was done in occupied 
     units with minimal inconvenience seems to indicate that the  modifications
     do not meet the standards of "substantial modification."  Furthermore,  in








     DOCKET NUMBER: BA 510363-RO
     order to qualify for an exemption based  upon  substantial  rehabilitation
     the owner has to show that the building was completely vacant prior to the 
     rehabilitation.  

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it is

     ORDERED, that the petition herein be, and hereby is, denied and  that  the
     decision of the Rent Administrator be, and hereby is affirmed.


     ISSUED:




                                                                   
                                     ELLIOT SANDER
                                     Deputy Commissioner




                                                   
    

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