BJ 130150 RO

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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. BJ 130150 RO

                   CATERINA BENENATI,
                                                  DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO. AC 130030 OM


          On October 8, 1987 the above-named owner  filed  a  petition  for
          administrative review of an order issued on September 8, 1987  by
          a District Rent Administrator concerning  various  accommodations
          in the premises known as 1854 Putnam Avenue, Ridgewood, New York, 
          wherein the Administrator  determined  that  the  owner  was  not
          entitled to a rent increase.

          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 petition for review.

          The owner commenced this petition on April 19, 1986 by filing  an
          application for a rent  increase  based  on  the  asserted  major
          capital  improvements  of:   new  electrical  service  equipment,
          hallway decorating, and a new hallway runner, at a total cost  of

          The owner certified that  on  April  19,  1986  she  served  each
          tenant with a copy of the application and placed a  copy  of  the
          entire  application  including  all  required   supplements   and
          supporting documentation with the resident owner.

          Tenants affected by the owner's rent  increase  application  were
          afforded an opportunity to interpose answers.  One  of  the  five
          tenants in the subject building filed an answer.

          In the order here under review, the Administrator determined that 
          none of the work constituted an MCI.

          In the petition for administrative  review,  the  owner  requests
          revocation of the Administrator's order.  She  alleges  that  the
          wiring was needed to upgrade the system to support  the  tenant's
          new air-conditioning.   She  further  alleges  that  the  hallway
          redecoration was necessary because the  hallway  had  never  been
          painted before, and that the hallway runner   was  necessary  for

          BJ 130150 RO
          safety on the steps.  Finally, the owner points out  the  tenants
          are consenting to a rent increase based on her application.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of  the  opinion
          that the petition should be denied.

          First, the owner's claim that redecorating the  hallway  and  the
          installation of a new hallway  runner  at  a  cost  of  $4,344.56
          constituted a MCI is without merit.

          Section 2520.6(r)(1) of the Rent Stabilization Code  and  Section
          2200.3(b) of the Rent and Eviction Regulations define required or 
          essential   services.    These   definitions   include   repairs,
          decorating and maintenance. Clearly,  the  owner's  work  on  the
          hallway in this case falls within the definitions of  a  required
          or essential service and as such cannot be considered  to  be  an

          Second,  the  Commissioner  finds  that   the   installation   of
          electrical equipment, namely new meters and panels at a  cost  of
          $2,600.00, did not constitute an  MCI.   In  general  the  agency
          requires an owner to show  that  risers  and  feeders  have  been
          extended to every apartment in the subject building and that this 
          wiring may support an installation of air conditioners  in  every
          living room and bedroom.  None of the documentation submitted  by
          the owner is sufficient to sustain such a finding.   Accordingly,
          the Administrator correctly determined that the  installation  of
          new meters and panels did not qualify as an MCI.

          Finally, the owner states that the tenants have  consented  to  a
          rent increase based on the MCI application.  Section  2520.13  of
          the Rent Stabilization Code and Section 2200.15 of the  Rent  and
          Eviction Regulations prohibit a tenant from waiving  the  benefit
          of a provision of the law or code.  As such, the consent  of  the
          tenants to an unwarranted MCI rental increase is invalid.

          THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and  Code,  the
          Rent and Rehabiliation Law and the Rent and Eviction Regulations, 
          it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  denied,
          and that the Administrator's order be, and the  same  hereby  is,

                                                  ELLIOT SANDER
                                                  Deputy Commissioner

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