DOCKET NOS.: EH110095RT
STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
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
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
To its application the subject landlord attached a copy of its proposed plan
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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
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
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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
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,
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
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
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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
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:
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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
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator's order should not
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.
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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
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
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.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA