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 : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: EA130287RT
VANESSA CEASAR AND :
FOR VARIOUS TENANTS OF RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
134-37 MAPLE AVENUE DOCKET NO.: BB110278OM
FLUSHING, NY PETITIONERS :
ORDER AND OPINION REMANDING PROCEEDING ON APPEAL
On January 31, 1990 the above-named petitioner-tenants timely filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on January 12,
1990 by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York
concerning housing accommodations known as 134-37 Maple Avenue, Flushing,
New York, various apartments.
The owner initiated the instant proceeding by filing an application for a
major capital improvement rent increase based on the installation of new
windows, waste compactor, pointing/waterproofing (painting), watermain and
garage door at a total cost of $45,213.08. Various tenants responded to
the owner's application urging the denial thereof for various reasons.
The order of the Administrator appealed herein granted the application in
all respects with the exception of cost attributed to painting, watermain
and garage door, which items were found not to constitute major capital
In their petition for administrative review the tenants request reversal of
the Rent Administrator's order and reiterate allegations raised in the
proceeding below to the effect that the $18,900 for pointing/waterproofing
is a rough estimate and unsubstantiated by check payable to the contractor;
that the new compactor is not a major capital improvement because it does
not preserve or maintain the structure and does not appreciably prolong its
useful life; and that screens for replacement windows have not been
provided for tenants, except in instances where they paid $15 each for
window screens, although screens are included in the contract price.
In answer to the tenants' petition the owner states, in substance, that the
tenants' PAR should be denied because they had a sufficient opportunity to
raise these issues in answer to the application.
In response to the the owner's answer tenant of apartment 1B states, in
substance, that a detailed response was submitted in the proceeding below;
that the new compactor should not qualify as an MCI; and that all tenants
did not receive window screens.
ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: EA 130287-RT
In reply to the tenant's response, the owner stated, among other things,
that screens are available and the tenants were notified that they would be
provided to any tenant upon request.
After a careful consideration of the entire record the Commissioner is of
the opinion that this petition should be granted in part and the proceeding
remanded to the Rent Administrator for further processing.
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 be generally 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 type of
installations recognized in the Administrator's order, including a new
compactor to replace one the useful life of which has expired, meet the
definitional requirements of a major capital improvement. In this regard
the record discloses that the owner submitted to the Division various
supporting documentation, including copies of contracts, contractor's
certifications and cancelled checks in support of the claimed costs,
including those checks payable to the pointing/waterproofing contractor for
the costs allowed in the Administrator's order.
However, with regard to the windows, the record discloses that the contract
cost provides for "half screens." Furthermore, it is conceded by the owner
that such screens were available but were not installed on a building-wide
basis. The owner is hereby directed to complete the window installation by
installing the screens in all apartments, if it has not already been done
so, within 45 days from the date of issuance of this order, and submit
proof of same to the Administrator to whom this proceeding is remanded.
The owner's failure to do so may result in the revocation of the rent
increase from the inception thereof.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabilization Law
and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this proceeding be, and the same hereby is remanded to the
Administrator for the limited purpose set forth herein. The automatic stay
of so much of the Administrator's order as directed a retroactive rent
increase is hereby continued until a new order is issued upon remand.
However, the Administrator's determination as to a prospective rent
increase is not stayed and shall remain in effect until the Administrator
issues a new Order upon remand.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA