DOCKET NOS.:  EH110095RT
                               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  :  S.J.R. NO. 6949 
     APPEAL OF                               ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                          :  DOCKET NO. EH110095RT
              MARGAITA NEALE,                DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S        
                                          :  DOCKET NO. BJ110002OE
                          PETITIONER
     -------------------------------------X             


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

     On August 13, 1990, the above-named tenant filed a petition for 
     administrative review of an order issued on July 16, 1990 by a District Rent 
     Administrator concerning the housing accommodation known as Apartment 2, 110- 
     33 Guy Brewer Boulevard, Jamaica, New York.

     Subsequently, and after more than ninety days had elapsed from the time it 
     filed its petition for administrative review, the landlord deemed its 
     petition as having been denied, and sought judicial review in the Supreme 
     Court of the State of New York pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice 
     Law and Rules.

     After considering the Article 78 petition, the Court issued an order 
     remitting the proceeding to the New York State Division of Housing and 
     Community Renewal (D.H.C.R.) for further consideration.

     The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and has 
     carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the issues raised 
     by the petition for review.

     On October 9, 1987, this proceeding was commenced by the subject landlord 
     filing an application with the D.H.C.R. for an order granting the landlord 
     the right to proceed for an eviction of the subject tenant.

     In its application the subject landlord states:


               The subject apartment is located in a building in which 
               it is the only space which is occupied as a residence.  
               The entire building, with the exception of this 
               apartment, is being utilized as a school and the subject 
               premises are required as a school room.  Bethel Gospel 
               Tabernacle, the owner of this building, is a church and 
               occupies the building next to the subject building.  The 
               church purchased the property approximately six years ago 
               for the purpose of establishing a school for the children 
               of the parishioners as well as for an adult education 
               program.

     To its application the subject landlord attached a copy of its proposed plan 







          DOCKET NOS.:  EH110095RT

     to alter the subject apartment.

     In her response, dated November 4, 1987, the subject tenant alleged, among 
     other things, that the Department of Buildings of the City of New York had 
     issued to the subject owner a permit to convert the subject building to a 
     school, but that the permit had expired in June, 1987; that the subject 
     tenant has resided at the subject premises for over twenty-one years; that 
     the subject tenant lives on a "limited widow's pension," and that the subject 
     tenant would suffer a hardship if evicted.

     On February 13, 1989, the Administrator mailed to the subject landlord a 
     notice directing it to submit to the rent agency, within twenty days of the 
     above-mentioned date, the following items:


               1.  Proof of the owner's financial ability to 
                   proceed with its proposed plans; 

               2.  A copy of the architectural plans submitted to 
                   the Department of Buildings;

               3.  A copy of the subject building's deed, and

               4.  A list of all of the tenants residing in the 
                   building including: the rental status, and the 
                   expiration dates of their leases.


     In its response, dated March 2, 1989, the subject owner asserted, among other 
     things, that the cost of the alterations to the subject apartment "will be 
     paid out of proceeds of the church's income and there have not been any 
     arrangements regarding loans," and that there is only one tenant residing in 
     the subject building, and that that tenant is rent controlled.

     To its response the subject landlord attached a copy of the proposed 
     architectural plans of the alterations to the subject apartment; a copy of 
     the subject landlord's financial statement which lists the landlord as having 
     $1,958,370.40 in total assets; a copy of the contractor's proposal for the 
     completion of work in the subject apartment at an estimated cost of 
     $15,000.00, and a copy of the deed which conveyed to the subject landlord 
     title to the subject premises.

     On March 23, 1989, the Administrator mailed to the subject landlord a notice 
     directing it to submit to the rent agency, within twenty days of the above- 
     mentioned date, proof that the aforementioned architectural plans were 
     submitted to the Department of Buildings for approval, or proof that they 
     have been subsequently approved.

     In its response to the above-mentioned notice the subject landlord attached 
     a letter, dated April 9, 1987, from the architectural firm that prepared the 
     proposed plans to alter the subject premises.  The aforementioned letter 
     stated that:  "Until this apartment is vacated and the work is completed you 
     will not be able to obtain a final sign-off of the work by the Department of 
     Buildings."


     In a letter, dated November 16, 1989, the subject owner asserted that it had 
     offered to relocate the subject tenant, and that it had offered her a choice 


          DOCKET NOS.:  EH110095RT

     of two two-bedroom apartments both located at 110-21 Guy Brewer Boulevard, 
     Jamaica, New York, but that the subject tenant had refused the landlord's 
     offer to relocate.

     The Administrator requested that the Hearing Bureau of D.H.C.R. conduct a 
     hearing to determine the merits of the landlord's application.

     Hearings were held on February 26, 1990 and April 3, 1990 in which the 
     subject tenant and landlord appeared.  The Administrative Law Judge made the 
     following determination:


               1.  That the subject landlord, Bethel Gospel 
                   Tabernacle, Inc., is a "religious corporation";

               2.  That the subject landlord is seeking possession 
                   of the subject apartment to use as a classroom 
                   for its bible school;

               3.  That the Department of Buildings had approved 
                   the subject landlord's proposed plans, and that 
                   it issued a permit to the subject landlord to 
                   alter the subject apartment;

               4.  That the subject landlord submitted a contract 
                   from a general contractor which shows that the 
                   cost of the proposed work on the subject 
                   apartment will be $18,000.00;

               5.  That the subject landlord has assets in an 
                   amount greater than 2.1 million dollars, and 
                   liquid assets in "Marine Midland Bank" in excess 
                   of the cost of the proposed project;

               6.  That the Board of Directors of Bethel Gospel 
                   Tabernacle, Inc., approved the proposed plans, 
                   and 

               7.  That the subject landlord "is proceeding in good 
                   faith to obtain possession of the subject 
                   apartment for use in connection with its 
                   religious operations and has sufficient 
                   financing for this project."


     On April 13, 1990, the subject landlord submitted to the Administrative Law 
     Judge a copy of a letter, dated April 5, 1990, from "Logos Bible College & 
     Graduate School Campus," which asserted that "Bethel Gospel Tabernacle is a 
     Logos Bible College & Graduate School campus"; that the Bethel Gospel 
     Tabernacle has 632 students enrolled in their school; that its enrollment has 
     been increasing, and that as a result the school requires the use of the 
     subject apartment.


     In the order under review herein, the Administrator granted the landlord's 
     application, and issued a Certificate of Eviction for the sole purpose of 
     allowing the landlord to use the subject apartment to expand the church's 
     school and adult education program, pursuant to Section 2204.9(a)(3) of the 







          DOCKET NOS.:  EH110095RT

     City Rent and Eviction Regulations.

     The Certificate of Eviction was issued on the condition that the subject 
     landlord comply with the applicable relocation and stipend requirements that 
     are set forth in Section 2204.4 of the City Rent and Eviction Regulations.

     In her petition the subject tenant asserts, among other things, that the 
     subject landlord's bible school is not accredited by an accrediting 
     organization; that the subject tenant alleges that she called the 
     aforementioned "Logos Bible College & Graduate School," and was informed by 
     the above-mentioned school that it has "Campuses in Brooklyn," and that the 
     tenant states:  "This appears to be a 'Paper School,' and the credibility is 
     therefore questionable if its information is being used in a New York State 
     judicial hearing to determine if the landlord is seeking, in good faith, to 
     withdraw the subject apartment from the housing market for school expansion."

     In its response, dated September 15, 1990, the subject landlord asserts, 
     among other things, that the subject landlord's school "had been accredited 
     by the International Accrediting Commission for Schools, Colleges and 
     Theological Seminaries, starting in 1985"; that after December 29, 1988 the 
     school had been accredited by "The Accrediting Commission International for 
     Schools, Colleges and Theological Seminaries" until December 30, 1990; that 
     the subject landlord states that:  "There is also a statement issued by the 
     Accreditation Commission, which indicates that most religious schools resists 
     attempts made by State's to license religious schools"; that the landlord 
     asserts that the tenant's petition should be denied, and that the Church 
     should be allowed to expand its school.

     To its response the subject landlord attaches, among other things, copies of 
     the accreditation certificates issued by the aforementioned accrediting 
     organizations.

     After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the 
     subject tenant's petition should be denied.

     The applicable provision in this proceeding, Section 2204.9(a) of the City 
     Rent and Eviction Regulations provides that the rent agency shall issue a 
     Certificate of Eviction "where the landlord establishes that he seeks in good 
     faith permanently to withdraw occupied housing accommodations from both the 
     housing and non-housing markets, without any intent to rent or sell all or 
     any part of the land or structure."

     In addition, Section 2204.9(a)(3) of the aforementioned regulations state 
     that a Certificate of Eviction shall be issued:




          DOCKET NOS.:  EH110095RT


               Where the landlord is a hospital, convent, asylum, public 
               institution, college, school or any institution operated 
               exclusively for charitable or educational purposes on a 
               nonprofit basis, that the landlord requires the housing 
               accommodations or the land, or any part thereof, for its 
               own immediate use in connection with its charitable, 
               religious or educational purposes, provided that no 
               certificate shall be issued for purposes of withdrawing 
               accommodations for the immediate and personal use and 
               occupancy as housing accommodations by employees, 
               students or members of its staff.


     The record reflects that the subject landlord, Bethel Gospel Tabernacle, is 
     a religious institution.

     The Commissioner points out that the Administrative Law Judge determined, 
     after conducting a hearing and reviewing the evidence in this proceeding that 
     the subject landlord "is proceeding in good faith to obtain possession of the 
     subject apartment for use in connection with its religious operations and has 
     sufficient financing for this project."

     The Commissioner finds that the subject tenant's petition does not raise any 
     issues that would warrant a revocation of the Administrator's order.

     Even if the tenant's assertion that the subject landlord's school is not an 
     accredited institution were true, the Commissioner is of the opinion that 
     this fact would not have resulted in the denial of the landlord's application 
     absent a finding that the subject landlord lacked the requisite good faith 
     and the financial means necessary to alter the subject apartment for use in 
     connection with its bible school and religious operations.

     Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that it is not necessary to determine the 
     accreditation status of the subject landlord's school.

     As to the tenant's assertion that the subject landlord's school is a "paper 
     school," the Commissioner finds that that assertion is not supported by the 
     record.

     Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator's order should not 
     be disturbed.

     The Commissioner points out that the Certificate of Eviction is issued on the 
     condition that the subject apartment shall be withdrawn from the housing and 
     non-housing rental markets, without any intent to rent or sell all or any 
     part of the land or structure, pursuant to Section 2204.9(a) of the City Rent 
     and Eviction Regulations; that the subject apartment is to be used for the 
     expansion of the church's school and adult education program; that the 
     subject landlord comply with an satisfy the applicable relocation and stipend 
     requirement as set forth in Section 2204.4 of the City Rent and Eviction 
     Regulations; that the subject landlord shall continue to provide essential 
     services to the subject apartment and tenant so long as the subject tenant 
     remains in lawful occupancy, and that the subject landlord shall not violate 
     any provisions of the rent regulations so long as the subject tenant remains 
     in lawful occupancy.









          DOCKET NOS.:  EH110095RT

     The Commissioner further points out that D.H.C.R. has continuing jurisdiction 
     over the subject tenant and the subject apartment until the actual date of 
     eviction or the date the subject tenant voluntarily vacates the subject 
     apartment.

     The owner is cautioned that the Certificate of Eviction may be modified or 
     revoked if the subject landlord does not comply with all of the terms and 
     conditions of the Administrator's order issued on July 16, 1990, under Docket 
     No. BJ110002OE, and the applicable provisions of the rent regulations.

     The Commissioner notes that the issuance of the Certificate of Eviction is 
     not an order to evict the subject tenant, but it only authorizes the subject 
     landlord to commence an eviction proceeding in a court of competent 
     jurisdiction.

     The Commissioner further notes that the subject tenant may be lawfully 
     evicted only by an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

     Based on all of the aforementioned facts, the Commissioner finds that the 
     tenant's petition should be denied.

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the City Rent and Rehabilitation Law and the 
     Rent and Eviction Regulations, it is 

     ORDERED, that the tenant's petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and 
     that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.

     ISSUED:



                                                                    
                                           JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                           Deputy Commissioner

    

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