Adm. Review Docket No.: CD710148RT

           
           
                                   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 NO.: CD710148RT  
                                              :  
          HERBERT T. LEAVY & DOROTHY L. LEAVY,   DRO DOCKET NOS:     
                                                          (H)BF 710004 OM
                                PETITIONERS   :                             
          ------------------------------------X                              
                                                 LANDLORD: OLD COURT         
                                                    MANAGEMENT CORP.

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                                   

          On April 4, 1988, the above-named tenants filed a Petition for 
          Administrative Review (PAR) against an order issued on March 17, 
          1988, by the District Rent Administrator at 50 Clinton Street, 
          Hempstead, New York, concerning the housing accommodation known as 
          Apartment 3A(22) 22 Mulford Place, Hempstead, New York, wherein the 
          Administrator had granted the landlord's application for a rent 
          increase based on the installation of Major Capital Improvements in 
          the subject building.

          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 PAR.

          In the application, the landlord alleged, in substance, that it had 
          expended $194,800.00 for electrical rewiring and $75,000.00 for the 
          replacement of three concrete roof-decks which form the roof of the 
          garages. The landlord also alleged that there are 216 apartments in 
          the subject cooperative complex; that these apartments contain a 
          total of 648 rooms; and are occupied by 75 rent stabilized tenants, 
          with the balance of the apartments being occupied by their 
          cooperator-owners.

          Thirty-nine tenants, including the petitioners, answered the 
          application, opposing it on various grounds such as the landlord's 
          failure to provide services and repairs, the alleged adequacy of 
          the previous wiring, the limited benefit provided by the new roof 
          decks and that the work was done to enhance the marketability of 
          the unsold co-op apartments in the complex.

          In the appealed order, the Administrator granted the application 
          for an MCI rent increase based on electrical rewiring, at a cost of 












          Adm. Review Docket No.: CD710148RT



          $190,800.00 (the Administrator found that $4,000.00 of the claimed 
          costs did not qualify as a basis for an MCI rent increase) and 
          replacement of three concrete roof-decks over the garages at a cost 
          of $75,000.00. The rent increase thus granted was $6.84 per room 
          per month.

          In their PAR the petitioners assert, in substance, that the 
          Administrator erred because the work done was not necessary vis a 
          vis the rental apartments. They allege that they, like the other 
          renters, have an old, small refrigerator and old gas stove; and, 
          therefore, do not need 220 volt wiring in their apartment. The 
          petitioners claim that they have never had electrical problems and 
          that the rewiring was only needed for the cooperative apartments: 
          wherein extensive alterations have been performed and electrical 
          appliances such as large freezers, washing machines, clothes driers 
          and electric stoves are used. They assert that the alterations were 
          done to enhance the marketability of the co-op units. They also 
          assert that they do not use the garage.

          In the landlord's answer opposing the PAR, the landlord asserts, in 
          substance, that the petitioners' claim that they did not need the 
          rewiring is irrelevant; the rewiring was done to insure the safety 
          of all of the residents of the complex; the previous wiring had 
          become overburdened by modern electrical demands; and the rewiring 
          was done in accordance with the Division's requirements for the 
          granting of an MCI based on rewiring.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that the Petition should be 
          denied.

          The Petitioners do not assert that the rewiring was not done in 
          accordance with DHCR standards or that it did not improve the 
          electrical service. They merely claim that it was not necessary 
          based on the impliedly low demands for electricity that the rental 
          units place on the system. The Commissioner finds that as long as 
          the work done otherwise meets the Division's standards for an MCI 
          rent increase, that increase must be granted if a landlord, in its 
          discretion, elects to upgrade its building in a particular fashion. 
          The Commissioner therefore finds that the PAR contains no 
          assertion, let alone evidence, upon which that portion of the 
          increase based on the rewiring should be modified or revoked. 

          The Commissioner further finds that the combined record (including 
          the inspection report of a DHCR staff member) indicates that the 
          three concrete garage roof-decks, which were replaced, are an 
          integral part of the structures in question, that said roofs serve 
          as the decks for the apartments on the first floor and part of the 
          fire escape route for many apartments above the first floor as 
          their fire escape ladders end at said decks. Therefore, the 
          Commissioner finds that the replacement of these decks benefits the 






          Adm. Review Docket No.: CD710148RT



          residents of the complex whether or not they use the garage.

          The Commissioner points out that if it is proven that a landlord's 
          primary motivation in installing a major capital improvement was to 
          make the co-op apartments more desirable to prospective purchasers, 
          it is not proven that said landlord is barred from getting an MCI 
          increase based thereon. If, in  all respects, the work done 
          qualifies for an MCI increase, the landlord's motivation is not 
          relevant to a determination as to whether or not an MCI rent 
          increase must be granted. Therefore, as to their assertion that the 
          installations herein were made to enhance the marketability of the 
          subject complex's co-op apartments and as to all of their other 
          assertions in the PAR, the Commissioner finds that the petitioners 
          have failed to assert any basis upon which the appealed order 
          should be modified or revoked.

          THEREFORE , in accordance with the provisions of all of the 
          applicable laws and regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that this Petition be, and the same hereby is denied and 
          that the appealed order be, and the same hereby is affirmed.

          ISSUED:





                                                                        
                                               JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                               Deputy Commissioner


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