DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, and CB 410099-RO
                                 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 NOS. CB 410105-RT
                                                        and  CB 410099-RO
         PENELOPE JAY, PETITIONER-TENANT       : D.R.O. ORDER NO.:
                      and                                  CDR #32,319
         SEYMOUR COHEN, PETITIONER-OWNER     : D.R.O. DOCKET NO.:
         ------------------------------------X           TC 63149-G


           ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING TENANT'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE
             REVIEW, GRANTING OWNER'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                      IN PART AND AMENDING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER


         On February 18, 1988, the above named petitioner-tenant and the above 
         named petitioner-owner each filed a Petition for Administrative Review 
         against an order issued on January 14, 1988, by the Rent Administrator 
         at 10 Columbus Circle, New York, New York concerning housing 
         accommodations known as apartment number 5A at 319 West 80th Street, 
         New York, New York, wherein the Administrator established the 
         stabilized rent and directed the owner to refund $3,690.13, including 
         interest from April 1, 1984.  Pursuant to Section 2529.1(c) of the 
         Code, these petitions are consolidated 
         herein.

         The Commissioner notes that this proceeding was initiated prior to 
         April 1, 1984.  Sections 2526.1(a) (4) and 2521.1(d) of the Rent 
         Stabilization Code (effective May 1, 1987) governing rent overcharge 
         and fair market rent proceedings provide that determination of these 
         matters be based upon the law or code provisions in effect on March 
         31, 1984.  Therefore, unless otherwise indicated, reference to 
         sections of the Rent Stabilization Code (Code) contained herein are 
         to the Code in effect on April 30, 1987.

         The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and has 
         carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the 
         issues raised in the administrative appeal.

         This proceeding was originally commenced in June of 1982, by the 
         filing of a complaint of rent overcharge with the New York City 
         Conciliation and Appeals Board (CAB, the agency formerly charged 
         with enforcing the Rent Stabilization Law) by the tenant.














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         The owner, submitted a rental history from the base date.

         On the chart attached to and made a part of the order, the 
         Administrator established the stabilized rent.

         In her Petition, the tenant contends that the Administrator erred in 
         the rent calculation chart attached to the order as follows:

         1.The Administrator factored into his calculation 
/the rent increase allegedly charged one Stephen 
Sherman whom the tenant contends never resided at 
the premises.

         2.At page 4 of the chart the August 1, 1982 rent is 
incorrectly stated as $469.78 whereas that same 
rent was stated as $453.28 on page 3 of the chart.

         In the owner's answer opposing the tenant's Petition, the owner 
         asserts that Stephen Sherman did take occupancy of the subject 
         apartment under a lease which commenced on September 1, 1980 but Mr. 
         Sherman abandoned the apartment by the end of October, 1980.  The 
         owner also asserted that the Administrator's error in describing the 
         August 1, 1982 rent as $469.78 on page four of the chart was merely 
         a typographical error since the Administrator's calculations were in 
         fact based on the $453.28 figure.

         In the owner's Petition, the owner contends that the Administrator 
         erred on the rent calculation chart attached to the order as 
         follows:

         1.The chart did not credit the owner with the one 
year lease term (of Patrick Robustelli that 
commenced on May 1, 1975.) increase of 8 1/2% the 
owner was entitled to over the June 30, 1974 rent.

         2.The owner was not given credit, without any 
explanation why, for the improvements to the 
apartment effected during the vacancy that preceded 
Robustelli's tenancy.

         3.The first renewal lease term of the tenant Hanley 
(September 1, 1977 - August 31, 1978) was 
erroneously excluded from the chart.

            4.       The $9.05 increase for improvements added to 
Hanley's second renewal lease should have been 
added to the Baptiste lease.  Hanley vacated in
            


October of 1978 and the improvements were installed 
during the vacancy that intervened between October 
of 1978 and the commencement of the Baptiste lease 




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term on September 1, 1979.

         5.The owner was not credited with the $5.62 rent 
increase the Administrator should have allowed for 
improvements installed during the vacancy that 
preceded the commencement of the Sherman lease term 
on September 1, 1980.

         6.the owner should have been credited with a $13.95* 
rent increase on the complaining tenant's lease 
based on the installation of furniture.  The 
apartment was rented (for the first time) as 
furnished under the complaining tenant's vacancy 
lease.

         In the tenant's answer opposing the owner's Petition, the tenant 
         asserts that the tenant is entitled to a greater refund than that 
         specified in the order below; that the owner's receipts for the 
         alleged improvements (many of which do not specify the apartment 
         where the work was done and many of which are barely legible) do not 
         properly substantiate the owner's allegations that work was done 
         and/or the cost of that work; that 252 West 72nd Street in 
         Manhattan, the address on the billhead for B&C Enterprises (one of 
         the alleged contractors) appears to be a residential brownstone and 
         it has no sign to indicate that it is the location of a business; 
         that B&C Enterprises is not registered with the County Clerk's 
         office; and that there has been no proof that any of the bills were 
         paid.  The tenant also asserts that none of the furnishings were 
         ever used by her [the tenant had alleged below that they were all 
         second hand] and she had to expend her own money to furnish the 
         apartment.

         The tenant noted in her answer that the terms of her vacancy and 
         first renewal leases were incorrectly described in the chart below; 
         which described them as September 1, 1981 through August 31, 1982 
         and February 1, 1982 through August 31, 1983, respectively, whereas 
         they were in fact August 1, 1981 through July 31, 1982 and August 1, 
         1982 through July 31, 1983, respectively.


                                                                             
         *Although the owner uses this figure of $13.95 in the body of the 
         Petition, in Exhibit D annexed to the petition, as well as in 
         documents submitted below, the owner claims a cost of $600.00 for 
         furniture and furnishings and, therefore, an increase of $15.00.


         The Commissioner is of the opinion that the tenant's Petition should 
         be granted, that the owner's Petition should be granted in part and 
         that the Administrator's order should be modified to reflect the 
         Commissioner's correction of the errors in the chart annexed to the 
         order below cited by the parties and otherwise noted by the 
         Commissioner; as indicated on the chart annexed hereto and made a 












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         part hereof.

         The Commissioner notes that it is a long established Division policy 
         that an owner is not entitled to calculate a subsequent tenant's 
         rent based on the rent charged under a prior tenant's lease if that 
         prior tenant had vacated within three months of the commencement of 
         said lease term.  (Accord: AJ 410604-RO.)

         Therefore, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator erred in 
         factoring the Hanley second renewal lease term and the Stephen 
         Sherman vacancy lease term into the calculation of the tenant's 
         stabilized rent because Hanley and Sherman had vacated the subject 
         accommodation less than three months after the commencement of those 
         respective lease terms.

         Based on this finding, the Commissioner has recalculated the 
         tenant's stabilized rent and the  refund due the  tenant from the 
         owner on the chart annexed hereto and made a part hereof.  With said 
         recalculation, the tenant's second objection to the order below is 
         moot.  As to the tenant's objections to the Administrator's 
         inaccurate statement of the terms of the tenant's vacancy and first 
         renewal leases, the Commissioner finds that the evidence submitted 
         by both the owner and the tenant proves that the term of those 
         leases were as noted in the Petition and that the Administrator had 
         misstated them in the order below.  They are correctly set forth in 
         the chart annexed hereto and made a part hereof.

         The Commissioner finds that the Administrator committed an error 
         (albeit, as explained below, only in the technical sense) in not 
         crediting the owner with any rent increase based on the claimed cost 
         of improvements to the apartment made prior to the Robustelli lease 
         term.  The owner had claimed to be entitled to a rent increase of 
         $20.25 based on a cost of $809.82 for improvements.  The 
         Commissioner believes that the owner could, properly, have been 
         credited with a rent increase of $5.75 based on the owner's having 
         adequately substantiated $230.00 in costs for improvements that 
         would have entitled the owner to a rent increase under Section 
         20(C)(1) of the Code in effect on April 30, 1987.   The chart 
         annexed hereto and made a part hereof reflects that finding.  
         Nevertheless, as the annexed chart shows, for the purpose of 
         determining  the  complaining  tenant's rent, the  20(C)(1) increase





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         credited under the Robustelli lease term is irrelevant.   Since the 








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         owner charged and collected $230.00 under the Hanley vacancy lease 




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         (although, credited with a $5.75, 20(C)(1) increase under the 








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         Robustelli lease term, the owner could have properly charged and 




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         collected $246.48), the stabilized rent under the Hanley vacancy 








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         lease term, and the base for computing all future Guidelines 




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         increases, became $230.00.  That is, and was, the case whether the 








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         owner had been entitled to a 20(C)(1) increase of $0.00 or $20.25 




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         under the Robustelli lease term.








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         Likewise, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator's chart also 








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         contained a technical error in the statement of the stabilized rent 




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         under the Robustelli lease term, even without factoring in the 








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         20(C)(1) increase.  As noted in the chart annexed hereto and made a 




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         part hereof, that stabilized rent, before the 20 (C)(1) increase, 








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         was properly, $190.75, but the chart below indicates that it was 




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         $185.00.  This error has been corrected in the chart annexed hereto 








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         and made a part hereof.  Nevertheless, as noted above, because of 




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         the amount of the rent charged and collected under the Hanley 








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         vacancy lease, this question is irrelevant to the calculation of the 




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         complaining tenant's stabilized rent.*








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         The Commissioner also finds that the Administrator erred in not 








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         factoring the Hanley first renewal lease (September 1, 1977 through 




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         August 31, 1978) into the calculation of the complaining tenant's 








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         legal regulated rent.  That error is corrected on the chart annexed 




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         hereto and made a part hereof.








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         Upon reviewing the $9.05 increase credited by the Administrator 








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         under the Hanley second renewal lease, the Commissioner finds that 




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         that increase was improperly credited.**  The items in question are 








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         as follows.




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         Invoice FromWork DescriptionAmount




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         a.) Leon Gray,            "Living room wall ... 




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         carpenterRemoved wood door frame from 








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                           sealed up door in wall.  Added




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         studs to wall and put up sheet








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         rock to blend in with wall.  




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         Taped and plastered sheetrock"          $108.00








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         b) Garcia RepairInstalled new ceiling and walls








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         Shopin the bathroom.                    $253.80




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         submited to support the Robustelli 20(C)(1) increase need not be 








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         dealt with on their merits.




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         **Therefore, the tenant's objections to the invoices submitted to 




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         substantiate said increase are moot.








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         The Commissioner finds that the work in question, the repair and/or 












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         replacement of walls and ceilings, does not constitute an 




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         improvement, but ordinary repairs and maintenance.  The error of 












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         crediting the owner with a $9.05 rent increase based on the 




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         immediately foregoing work has been corrected on the chart annexed 












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         hereto and made a part hereof.  Thus the owner's contention that 




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         said increases should have been credited under the Baptiste lease 












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         term, and not the Hanley second renewal, is rendered moot.




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         The Commissioner finds that the Administrator erred in not granting 




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         the owner a rent increase (which the owner claims was due under the 












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         Sherman lease term) based on the cost of installing an additional 




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         standing cabinet in the kitchen and moving the stove (and extending 












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         the gas line to accommodate its new location).  The claimed cost for 




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         doing that, as shown on the B & C Enterprises billhead was $225.18.  












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         Therefore, the increase to be credited is $5.63.*  The Commissioner 




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         notes that said increase is credited on the inception of the 












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         complaining tenant's lease because, as noted above, the Sherman 




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         lease may not be used as a base for calculating subsequent 












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         Guidelines increases.




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         The Commissioner finds that the owner was not entitled to a rent 




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         increase based on the cost of the furniture and furnishings 












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         installed.  The Commissioner finds that the tenant's allegations 




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         below that all of said furniture and furnishings were second-hand 












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         when installed are corroborated both by the cost of the items, as 




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         shown on the invoices the owner submitted, and by the legend at the 












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         bottom of those invoices that states that "All Merchandise Sold As 




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         Is - No Refunds."












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         Both invoices are from Jeffrey Roberts Galleries Inc. of 2193 












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         Broadway and they list all of the following items at a total cost of 




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         $600.00: one kitchen table and two chairs ($100.00); one box spring 












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         and one mattress ($100.00); one large table lamp ($25.00); one night 




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         table($25.00); one Bassett chest and matching desk and chair 












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         ($250.00); and one club chair ($100.00).




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         The Commissioner notes that the Code in effect on April 30, 1987 did 




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         not provide for an increase based on the installation of furniture 












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         and the Code effective May 1, 1987 only provides for such an 




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         increase upon the installation of new furniture.  Therefore, the 












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         Commissioner finds that the Administrator's denial of this increase 




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         was correct.












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         *The Commissioner finds that the tenant's challenge to the validity 












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         of this increase (based on allegations that B & C is located at a 




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         residential brownstone and is not registered with the County Clerk's 












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         Office) is without merit.




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         The Commissioner points out that the Administrator's chart contained 




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         errors which were not cited by the tenant or the owner but which are 












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         corrected in the chart annexed hereto and made a part hereof.




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         This order and opinion, and the Administrator's order, as amended in 




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         accordance with this order and opinion, may, upon the expiration of 












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         the period in which the owner may institute a proceeding pursuant to




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         Article Seventy-Eight of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, be filed 












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         and enforced by the tenant in the same manner as a judgment or not 




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         in excess of twenty percent thereof per month may be offset against 












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         any rent thereafter due the owner.




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












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         ORDERED, that the tenant's Petition be, and the same hereby is 












         DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, CB 410099-RO
         granted; and that the owner's Petition be, and the same hereby is 




         DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, CB 410099-RO
         granted, in part; and that the Administrator's order be, and the 












         DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, CB 410099-RO
         same hereby is amended in accordance with this order and opinion.




         DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, CB 410099-RO













         DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, CB 410099-RO





         DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, CB 410099-RO
         ISSUED:












         DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, CB 410099-RO





         DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, CB 410099-RO
                                      












         DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, CB 410099-RO
         ELLIOT SANDER




         DOC. NOS.: CB 410105-RT, CB 410099-RO
         Deputy Commissioner








    

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