STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: BA 110308-RO
DRO DOCKET NO.: QS 000920-OM
LIGIA M. WELCH
PETITIONER : PRIOR OWNER: CDI DEVELOPMENT, INC.
ORDER AND OPINION REMANDING PROCEEDING TO RENT ADMINISTRATOR
On January 30, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition for
Administrative Review against an order issued on January 8, 1987, by the
Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York, concerning
housing accommodations known as various apartments, 216-11 and 216-15
Hillside Avenue, Queens Village, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator
denied the application for a rent increase on a Major Capital Improvement
(MCI) without prejudice to the right of the new owner to file a rent
application that is properly substantiated.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and has
carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the issues
raised by the administrative appeal.
The prior owner commenced this proceeding on October 1, 1985 by filing an
application for an MCI increase. The prior owner did not identify itself
as either the managing current agent or the prior owner.
No objections were submitted by any tenants in response to the
In Order Number ZQS 000920-OM, the Rent Administrator determined that the
prior owner had sold the building to the petitioner on August 15, 1985
and that the October 1, 1985 application by the prior owner was therefore
defective. The Administrator also stated that only four tenants were
affected by the application because the subject building was part of a
greater complex which was subdivided into smaller units.
The subject improvements were further stated to be improperly
substantiated by supporting documentation. However, the specific
deficiencies were not stated in the order.
The Administrator stated:
"Accordingly, the application is denied without prejudice to the
present owner filing a new application that is properly
substantiated. Both the owner and the tenants are advised that
DOCKET NUMBER: BA 110308-RO
regardless of the present number of units, apartments which are
subject to the Rent Stabilization Law remain subject to this law
unless and until the owner makes application to this agency for
a determination declaring them exempt and an Order and
Determination granting such an application is issued."
Division records indicate that the new owner did not file a new MCI
In this petition, the new owner contends that the Rent Administrator's
Order is incorrect and should be modified because the prior owner was in
fact the managing agent at the time the application was filed, so that the
filing was proper.
In addition, the petitioner documents that she informed the tenants of the
subject premises on August 16, 1985, the day after purchasing the
premises, that she was the new owner. In addition, the petitioner notes
that she filed a report of change in identity of owner (Form RA 44) with
the Division, thus proving that there had been no intent to mislead or
No tenant answered this petition, although given the opportunity to do so.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this proceeding should be remanded
to the Rent Administrator.
The petitioner is correct that a managing agent can apply for an MCI
increase on behalf of an owner. Furthermore, it is well-settled that a
current owner can apply for an MCI increase for work done by a prior
owner. Accordingly, the Commissioner hereby finds that the Administrator
should have substituted the new owner for the old owner on the application
and treated the so-reformed application as filed as of the date of the
actual application. On remand, the application should be processed on its
merits as if filed by the new owner, petitioner herein.
The substantive allegations of the owner regarding the sufficiency of
proof are to be resolved on remand. Parenthetically, the Commissioner
notes that the checks submitted by the owner do not add up to the alleged
total expenditures for certain improvements and for at least one
improvement that is no proof as to how much of the total cost of the
improvement for the complex should be allocated to the building which is
the subject of this appeal. In short, the record as it stands is clearly
Finally, the Commissioner notes that for an improvement to qualify for an
MCI increase it must be "for the operating, preservation, and maintenance
of the structure."
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabilization Law
and Code, it is
DOCKET NUMBER: BA 110308-RO
ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and the same
hereby is, granted, to the extent of remanding this proceeding to the Rent
Administrator for further processing in accordance with this order and
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA