STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK, 11433
-----------------------------------X ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE DOCKET NO.: DD510251RT
Alexander G. Karpenos
PETITIONER DOCKET NO.: AJ530141OM
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The petitioner-tenant timely refiled an administrative appeal
against an order issued on February 27, 1989, by the Rent
Administrator (92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York)
concerning the housing accommodations known as 482 Fort Washington
Avenue, New York, New York, apartment 2A, wherein the Administrator
granted major capital improvement (MCI) rent increases for the
controlled and stabilized apartments in the subject premises based
on the installation of apartment windows at the premises.
On appeal, the petitioner-tenant states, in substance, that he was
informed that the cost of the window installation was included in
his vacancy lease rent; the windows were installed only two days
after he moved in; and at the time he moved in, he was never told
about the MCI application.
In response to the tenant's petition, the owner contends, in
substance, that the tenant was not billed for the windows until
approval was received from DHCR, and that the tenant was duly
served and knew of the pending MCI application.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that this administrative appeal
should be denied.
Rent increases for major capital improvements are authorized by
Section 2522.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code for rent stabilized
apartments. Under rent stabilization, the improvement must
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW DOCKET NO.: DD510251RT
generally be building-wide; depreciable under the Internal Revenue
Code, other than for ordinary repairs; required for the operation,
preservation, and maintenance of the structure; and replace an item
whose useful life has expired. It is the established position of
the Division that the installation of apartment windows, as in the
instant case, qualifies as an MCI.
The evidence of record in the instant case indicates that the owner
correctly complied with the application procedures for an MCI and
that the Rent Administrator properly computed the appropriate rent
The Commissioner notes that the Rent Stabilization Law and Code
preclude an owner from collecting an increase predicated on an MCI
unless and until an order is issued by the Division authorizing the
collection of same, and that the order under appeal excluded the
collection of the increase during the term of an existing lease
unless it contains an authorization provision for the earlier
collection of same.
In this proceeding it is clear that the owner's MCI application was
not pending before the Division when the petitioner took occupancy
of the apartment. The petitioner's initial lease began on June 1,
1986, while the owner did not file its application until October of
1986. Furthermore, the tenant admits that the windows were
installed after he commenced occupancy. Since no application was
pending when the tenant took occupancy, the owner was under no
obligation to include any specific mention of the installation in
the lease. The record indicates that the tenant was afforded the
same notice as all other tenants. In fact, the tenant submitted an
answer to the owner's application while the proceeding was pending
before the Administrator.
With regard to the tenant's contention that his initial rent
included the window installation, the Commissioner notes that the
tenant has failed to submit a copy of his vacancy lease either on
appeal or in the original proceeding. This order and opinion is
issued without prejudice to the tenant's right to file a rent
overcharge complaint, if the facts so warrant. The Commissioner
notes that the tenant had filed an overcharge complaint on July 16,
1986 (Docket Number AG510477R) which was granted on August 22, 1988
prior to the issuance of the MCI order. The Commissioner further
notes that the tenant vacated the subject apartment in 1992.
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW DOCKET NO.: DD510251RT
On the basis of the entire evidence of record, it is found that the
Administrator's order is correct and should be affirmed.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this administrative appeal be, and the same hereby
is, denied; and that the Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, affirmed.
Joseph A. D'Agosta