BH 410320 RO

                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. BH 410320 RO

                                              :  DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
               ISTA Management,                  DOCKET NO. 044281

                                                 TENANT: Robert  and  Carol

                                PETITIONER    : 

                                       IN PART

          On August 25, 1987, the above named petitioner filed  a  Petition
          for Administrative Review against an order issued on  August  14,
          1987, by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus  Circle,  New  York,
           New York, concerning the housing  accommodations  known  as  210
          East 68th Street, New York, New York, Apartment No. 11B,  wherein
          the  Rent  Administrator  had  determined  that  the  owner   was
          providing and must maintain three air conditioners.

          On September 5, 1984, the tenants Robert and  Carol  Tannenhauser
          commenced this proceeding by filing an objection to the  Services
          Registration for their apartment that had ben filed by the owner. 
          The objection stated that three air conditioners are provided  by
          the building owner and are included in the rent.

          In answer to the objection, the owner stated  that  it  does  not
          provide air conditioning or maintenance of air conditioner units. 
          The owner asserted, however, that it does provide  unlimited  and
          unmetered electric service  to  the  premises  and  is  therefore
          entitled under Administrative Order No. 95 to a surcharge for the 
          use of the air conditioners, ownership notwithstanding.

          The owner submitted a copy of the tenants' initial lease for  the
          period April 1, 1975 through March 31, 1977, as well as a copy of 
          the prior tenant's lease  for  the  period  January  1,  1973  to
          December 31, 1974.  The complaining  tenants'  lease  contains  a
          clause to the effect  that  the  owner  is  not  responsible  for
          maintenance or repairs to any air conditions  in  the  apartment.
          The prior lease for the period beginning January 1, 1973 does not 
          contain the same clause.

          In the order issued August 14, 1987, the Administrator determined 
          that services  provided  by  the  owner  include  the  three  air
          conditioners.  The Administrator based its determination  on  the
          premise that renewal leases must be on the same conditions as the 
          expiring lease and that the introduction of the  air  conditioner
          clause in the lease effective April 1, 1975 was a change  in  the

          BH 410320 RO
          conditions contained in  the  expired  lease  and  was  therefore

          In its petition, the owner alleges that the January 1, 1973 lease 
          was between the owner and the tenant  prior  to  the  complaining
          tenant, that the complaining tenant's initial lease was effective 
          April 1, 1975 and was therefore a new lease and  not  a  renewal.
          The owner asserts that the air conditioners were left  behind  by
          the prior tenant and that pursuant to the lease clause it is  not
          responsible for these units.

          In response to the petition, the tenant asserts that at the  time
          the apartment was leased the owner's agent represented  that  the
          rentals included electricity and it  was  tenant's  understanding
          that there  would  be  no  additional  cost  for  using  the  air
          conditioners, and that the owner has in  fact  serviced  the  air
          conditioners on several occasions.  The  tenant  further  asserts
          that he was never furnished with a copy of the leases referred to 
          by  the  owner  in  the  petition,  including  the  clause  which
          specifically refers to the air conditioners.

          In reply, the  owner  asserts  that  it  has  never  provided  or
          serviced the  air  conditioners,  that  it  believes  the  tenant
          purchased them from the prior tenant, that in the lease clause it 
          was negotiated that the air conditioners were not the property of 
          the owner and that the base rent  for  this  apartment  does  not
          include the use of air conditioning electricity.  The owner added 
          that the leases requested by the DHCR were provided by the  owner
          during processing and it is owner's understanding that  the  DHCR
          forwards copies to the tenant.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be
          granted in part.

          The Administrator erred  in  concluding  that  the  lease  clause
          concerning the air conditioners was invalid because  it  was  not
          contained in the prior lease.  It is  only  renewal  leases  that
          must contain the same terms and conditions as the prior lease and 
          the lease in question was clearly the initial  vacancy  lease  of
          the complaining tenants.  If, in fact, the air conditioner  units
          in the subject apartment were the property of the  prior  tenant,
          as the owner asserts,  the  clause  regarding  their  maintenance
          could not possibly have been in the prior lease.  But if the  air
          conditioners were indeed abandoned  by  the  prior  tenant,  they
          became the property of the owner when they were not removed  upon
          reletting the apartment to the complainants.   The  lease  clause
          which addresses the air conditioning units merely states that the 
          owner has no responsibility to repair or maintain the  units  but
          does not disclaim ownership.  Accordingly, the Commissioner finds 
          that the owner provides three  air  conditioners  which  must  be
          included  among  the  equipment  and  services  required  to   be
          registered.  However, in accordance with the base date (the first 
          date air conditioners were  provided  to  the  apartment  by  the
          owner) practice the owner is not  responsible  for  repairing  or
          maintaining the units but must replace  them  when  they  are  no
          longer serviceable.

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

          BH 410320 RO

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  granted
          in part, and that the Administrator's  order  be,  and  the  same
          hereby is, modified in accordance with this order and opinion.  


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner



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