DOCKET NUMBERS: CG 410181-RT (SJR 4945); CG 410182-RT; CH 410001-RT
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: CG 410181-RT
                                         :  (SJR 4945); CG 410182-RT;
     & PHILIP CESARIO                       DRO DOCKET NO.: AJ 410003-UC
                           PETITIONER    : 


     The   abovenamed   petitioner   tenants   filed   timely   Petitions   for
     Administrative Review against orders issued on June 27, 1988 by  the  Rent
     Administrator concerning the housing accommodations known as 207 East 26th 
     Street, Apartments 2,3 & 4, Lower Manhattan.

     The  Commissioner  deems  it  appropriate  to  consolidate  the  petitions

     The issue herein is whether  the  apartments  are  subject  to  regulation
     because, among other reasons, they are  located  in  one  of  3  adjoining
     buildings (203, 205 & 207 East 26th Street) which comprise  a  "horizontal
     multiple dwelling" containing 6 or more apartments.

     The current owner, Herzel Nir, acquired 207 East 26th  Street  on  October
     31, 1984 and his two brothers acquired 203 & 205 East 26th Street  at  the
     same time from the same owners who took back purchase money  mortgages  on
     the buildings.

     On October  24,  1986  Herzel  Nir  filed  an  application  (RS-3)  for  a
     determination that 207 East 26th Street is exempt from regulation  on  the
     grounds that it contains only 3 apartments and one store.

     The  herein  appealed  orders  of  the  Rent  Administrator  granted   the
     application finding  that  the  building  contains  less  than  6  housing
     accommodations, based on submitted documentation and physical  inspections
     discussed infra, and were, therefore, exempt from stabilization.

     The record discloses that prior to 1960 207 East 26th Street had been a 16 
     unit rooming housing.  In January 1961  a  Certificate  of  Occupancy  was
     issued showing a conversion to a cellar and 4  apartments.   In  September
     1986 a new Certificate of Occupancy was issued showing a cellar,  a  store
     and 3 apartments.  The record also contains an August 1986 Certificate  of
     Occupancy for 205 East 26th Street showing a basement which  can  be  used
     for commercial purposes and 2 apartments.

     Physical inspections of 207  East  26th  Street  only  were  conducted  in
     February 29 & May 24, 1988 the reports of which recite that the building 

     has its own water and sewer corrections, 6 electric and 5 gas meters,  its
     own basement ("which  shows  signs  of  being  occupied  by  a  tenant  or

          DOCKET NUMBERS: CG 410181-RT (SJR 4945); CG 410182-RT; CH 410001-RT
     tenants") and that it contains 5 units including the basement".

     The record indicates that 207 East 26th Street receives its  own  tax  and
     utility bills.

     It appears that Mr. Nir's brothers filed similar applications  for  203  &
     205  East  26th  Street  and  that  similar  orders  were  issued  by  the
     Administrator (AJ 410002-UC & AA 410004-UC.  No petitions have been  filed
     concerning those buildings.

     207 East 26th Street was registered with this agency by Mr. Nir in 1984 as 
     having 4  stabilized  apartments  and  in  1985,  86  &  87  as  having  3
     apartments.  The other 2 buildings were registered by the prior or current 
     owners in  1984  through  87  showing  different  numbers  and  regulating
     categories of apartments at  different  times.   The  total  among  the  3
     buildings is in excess of 6.

     The  tenants,  in  the  proceeding  before  the  Administrator,  in  their
     petitions and in a supplement thereto,  allege  that  Ms  Livingston  took
     occupancy in 1977, Mr. Garahan in 1976 and Mr. Cesario in 1970; that until 
     1986 the heat and hot water systems and the  electric  meters  for  all  3
     buildings were located in 207 East 26th Street; that there was  a  doorway
     connecting 205 and 207; that there  is  still  a  means  of  fire  escapes
     connecting 205 and 207; that, in addition to the abovenoted registrations, 
     Mr. Nir in 1987 applied to this agency for major capital improvement  rent
     increases (BD 410171-OM); that Mr. Nir in 1986  alleged  in  court  papers
     that Ms Livingston's apartment was stabilized; and that the  contract  for
     the sale of the premises was between  the  prior  owners  and  the  3  Nir
     brothers as a partnership, each one taking title to a separate building on 
     the closing.

     In response the owner, in substance,  urges  that  the  record  adequately
     supports the Administrator's findings and  that  the  family  relationship
     between the current owners is immaterial.

     The Commissioner is of the opinion that the proceeding should be  remanded
     for further processing.

     The Commissioner notes that Mr. Cesario, irrespective of anything else  in
     the record, may be rent controlled if, in fact, he has been  in  occupancy
     since prior to June 30, 1971 and if the building (in one form or  another)
     was  in  existence  prior  to  February  1,  1947.   The  abovenoted  1960
     conversion from a rooming house would not, by  itself,  be  sufficient  to
     decontrol the building.

     The Commissioner further notes that if, on the applicable  base  dates  or
     when the tenants took occupancy, the premises were a  horizontal  multiple
     dwelling containing 6 or more units between them, subsequent acts  of  the
     owners, such as  installation  of  separate  heating  systems,  relocating
     utility connections, blocking up doorways and sales  to  separate  owners,
     would not remove them from regulation.

     The abovenoted physical inspections are ambiguous as to the  exact  number
     of actual apartments in 207.  They also indicate an excessive number of 

     gas and electric meters for the 3 apartments in 207 but the correct number 
     if they were also servicing the 2 apartments in 205 East 26th Street.

     On remand the matter should be reexplored, on notice to  all  parties,  by

          DOCKET NUMBERS: CG 410181-RT (SJR 4945); CG 410182-RT; CH 410001-RT
     whatever means are found useful including  physical  inspections  (of  all
     buildings and all units) and/or hearings if necessary.

     THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code  and  the  Rent
     and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it is

     ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, granted to t he 
     extent of remanding  these  proceedings  to  the  Rent  Administrator  for
     further  processing  in  accord  herewith.   The  orders   of   the   Rent
     Administrator are stayed and the apartments deemed subject  to  regulation
     until new orders are issued on remand.


                                            ELLIOT SANDER
                                         Deputy Commissioner


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