DOCKET NUMBER: SJR 4727;DH410016-RO;DH 410026-RO
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.:SJR 4727;DH 410016-RO
                                         :             DH 410026-RO
                                            DRO DOCKET NUMBER: BK 410004-AD

     On August 8, 1989 the abovenamed  petitioner  owner  filed  Petitions  for
     Administrative Review against orders issued on July 6, 1989  by  the  Rent
     Administrator concerning the housing accommodations known as 244 West 12th 
     Street, Apartments 1 & 2, Lower Manhattan.

     The owner subsequently instituted a  Article  78  proceeding  based  on  a
     "deemed denial" of the petitions and the matter was remitted by the court.

     The Commissioner deems it appropriate to  consolidate  the  petitions  for
     disposition herein.

     The issue herein is whether the apartments qualify for decontrol  pursuant
     to 9 NYCRR 2100.9(e) (formerly Section 9(5)  of  the  State  Housing  Rent
     Regulations) because they were created by the conversion of prior  rooming
     house accommodations after February 1, 1947 and before May 1, 1950.

     If the conversion occurred  before  February  1,  1947  they  became,  and
     remain, part of the rent controlled housing stock.

     If it occurred after February 1, 1947 but before May 1, 1950 decontrol (if 
     warranted at all in this case  for  reasons  discussed  more  full  infra)
     attached by operation of law without the necessity for any orders.

     If it occurred after May 1, 1950  but  before  April  30,  1962  decontrol
     (subject to the above caveat) requires the issuance of  orders  and  there
     are requirements as to minimum floor area and other items  pursuant  to  9
     NYCRR 2200.2f(10) & 2200.9 (formerly Section 2f(10) and Section 9  of  the
     Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City).

     If it occurred after April 30, 1962 such decontrol is specifically  barred
     by 9 NYCRR 2200.9(d)(1).

     In the instant proceeding (BK 410004-AD) the owner applied  for  decontrol
     of  the  subject  apartments  (or  a  declaration  that  they   had   been
     decontrolled as a matter of law) alleging that a prior owner, Theresa 

     DOCKET NUMBER: SJR 4727;DH 410016-RO & DH 410026-RO

     Pons, had net-leased the subject building (244  West  12th  Street)  along
     with 2 adjoining buildings (240 & 242 West 12th Street) around 1940 and

     thereafter accused the subject building to be converted  from  a  10  unit
     rooming housing to a 4 unit class A apartment house and took title in  the
     latter part of 1947.  Similar actions were alleged  with  respect  to  the
     other 2 buildings.

     With the application or  in  response  to  subsequent  notices  the  owner
     submitted copies of  1943  federal  registrations  showing  rooming  house
     accommodations, a 1947 contract of sale, rent records commencing  November
     1947,  an  order  issued  in  December  1952  by  the  State  Local   Rent
     Administrator establishing a  controlled  rent  as  of  May  1,  1950  for
     another apartment (obviously class A) in the building, IRS  documents  and
     an affidavit from the son and bookkeeper of Theresa Pons all of which,  it
     was urged, supported the owner's allegations of a conversion at  the  time

     The herein appealed orders of the Rent Administrator  denied  the  owner's
     application  stating  that  the  regulations  require  the   creation   of
     "additional   housing   accommodations"   and   here   there   are   fewer
     accommodations (even  though  they  are  class  A  instead  rooming  house
     accommodations) and that in prior proceedings orders had  been  issued  in
     1980 finding each of the apartments subject to control (2AD  40083  &  2AD

     In his petition the owner reiterates his prior allegations and urges  that
     it was erroneous to interpret the regulations to require  an  increase  in
     the total number of housing accommodations in the building. The owner also 
     notes that the Administrator's order concedes that the conversion occurred 
     "during 1947 and 1948."

     In response, the tenant  of  Apartment  2,  Helen  Bozkurt,  alleges  that
     contrary allegations as to the time of the conversion had been made by, or 
     on behalf of, the owner in prior proceedings and that the same issues  had
     been finally determined adversely to the owner in such prior proceedings.

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

     All  the  regulations  cited   herein   refer   to   "additional   housing
     accommodations".  If, after conversion,  there  are  fewer  accommodations
     than before, decontrol is not warranted even if class  A  apartments  have
     replaced rooming house accommodations.   This  has  been  the  traditional
     position of this agency and its rent control predecessors.  See ART 11811 
     L; ART 11899-L & ART 11952-L.

     Moreover, in prior proceedings the owner had sought decontrol of apartment 
     2 alleging a conversion after May 1, 1950 and prior  to  April  30,  1962.
     Therein it was adduced that the conversions in the building  had  occurred
     piecemeal over several years  and  had  not  been  finally  completed  and
     legalized until October 1963 and a new certificate occupancy issued  until

     November 14, 1963.  An order was issued on August 26,  1982  finding  that
     the apartment did not qualify for decontrol because the owner had not 

     DOCKET NUMBER.: SJR 4727; DH 410016-RO & dH 410026-RO

     established that the apartment was  created  before  April  30,  1962  and
     decontrol was therefore barred as abovenoted and also because  there  were
     no  "additional"  accommodations  created  (CJR  7465;7284;  CPLA  32,690;
     32691;33453).  The owner instituted an Article 78 proceeding against  that
     order but was unsuccessful.

     The Commissioner also notes that the evidence  submitted  In  the  instant
     proceeding is circumstantial and inferential.  The  prior  owner,  Theresa
     Pons, who was obviously a professional landlord and who  presumably  would
     have had more direct evidence at hand, did  not  seek  decontrol  and,  in
     fact, acquiesced in the establishment of controlled rents in the premises.

     There must be some limit to how often even a jurisdictional issue  can  be

     The Commissioner further notes that  the  Administrator's  instant  orders
     contain language, "The  subject  premises  was  converted  from  ten  (10)
     rooming house units into several self contained apartments during 1947 and 
     1948....", which the owner in his petition interprets as  a  finding  that
     the conversion was actually completed at that time.

     The Commissioner is of the opinion that the phrase is in the nature of  an
     arguendo premise rather than a finding.  Since it was not necessary to the 
     determination of the issues presented, the Administrator's order's  should
     be modified so as to delete it.

     The Commissioner finds that the apartments do not qualify  for  decontrol.
     This order  is  with  prejudice  to  the  owner  instituting  any  further
     proceedings for decontrol pursuant to 9  NYCRR  2100.9(e),  22002f(10)  or

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

     ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, denied and that 
     the orders of the Rent Administrator be, and the same hereby are, modified 
     as above set forth and, as so modified, affirmed.


                                                        ELLIOT SANDER
                                                     Deputy        Commissioner

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