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. 5573
          APPEAL OF                            :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                               :   DOCKET  NUMBER:  EC-630333-RO
               WYNDHAM REALTY COMPANY,         :  
                                               :  
                                               :  D.R.O. DOCKET NO. CE 630056-RP 
                                   PETITIONER  :                   (BS000271-OM)
          -------------------------------------X


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On March 2,  1990,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  an
          Administrative Appeal against an order issued on January 29, 1990 
          by the District Rent  Administrator,  92-31  Union  Hall  Street,
          Jamaica, New York concerning the housing accommodations known  as
          930 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York, various apartments  wherein
          the Administrator modified a previously   issued  (May  8,  1987)
          Order and revoked such portion  thereof  as  authorized  a  major
          capital improvement rent increase adjustment, effective August 1, 
          1985, for a new roof, pointing and waterproofing.

          Thereafter, the owner commenced a proceeding in the Supreme Court 
          pursuant to Article 78 of  the  Civil  Practice  Law  and  later,
          having deemed its petition denied by  operation  of  law.    This
          resulted in an order of the court remitting  this  proceeding  to
          the  Division  of  Housing  and  Community  Renewal  for  further
          consideration.

          The  owner  of  the  subject  premises  initiated   the   instant
          proceeding by filing a rent  increase  application  in  May  1985
          pursuant to Section 41 of the  former  Rent  Stabilization  Code,
          based  on  an  elevator  upgrading,  new   roof,   pointing   and
          waterproofing (where necessary).

          In response to the application,  over  forty  tenants  questioned
          the quality of the work asserting, among other things,  that  the
          elevator continues to break down regularly; that the  roof  still
          leaks; and that many apartments continue  to  suffer  from  water
          damage and exterior water penetration.







          On May 8, 1985 the Administrator issued  an  order  (BS000271-OM)
          granting   the   application   without   having   addressed   the
          aforementioned tenant responses.  Various tenants filed 






          DOCKET NUMBER: EC-630333-RO
          administrative appeals against said order and on May 17, 1988 the 
          proceeding  was  remanded  to  the  Administrator   for   further
          processing to ascertain the validity of the  tenants'  complaints
          regarding the quality of the work performed (BI-630501-513-RT) .

          Upon the remand,  physical  inspections  were  conducted  of  the
          subject premises by Division inspectorial personnel  during  June
          and November 1989.  The inspection revealed that the elevator was 
          functioning properly.   On  June  22nd  and  23rd,  1989,  eleven
          apartments were scheduled for inspection of which four  (4D,  3A,
          5B, and 5K)  were  found  to  have  water  damage  to  walls  and
          ceilings.

          On the 28th and 29th of the same month nineteen  (19)  apartments
          (rather than 20 as  stated  in  the  order)  were  scheduled  for
          inspection of which eleven apartments (6F, 6G, 8E, 8D,  6A,  11A,
          11C, 11D, 11E, 10J, and 9-O  were  found  to  have  water  damage
          around  windows,  walls  and  ceilings.    The   inspector   also
          indicated that the roof had  been  patched  and  is  bubbling  in
          various areas; and that pointing  and  waterproofing,  which  was
          limited to the parapet area was done in an unworkmanlike manner.

          By notice dated July 9, 1989, the owner was  served  with  copies
          of  replies  from  various  tenants  whose  apartments  were  not
          inspected but who alleged the existence of water seepage in their 
          respective units.

          By letter dated August 17, 1987 the  owner  stated,  among  other
          things, that the new roof membrane installed in 1983  has  proved
          to be water tight despite the subsequent  overflow  of  the  roof
          water tower at which time water flowed over the roof door lintels 
          and "through and over  the  [roof]  flashing";  that  inspections
          which disclose the existence of prior leaks is not sufficient  to
          indicate that there has been a leak in the past five years;  that
          the DHCR failed to use proper moisture recording  equipment;  and
          that there is no indication of present water penetration from the 
          roof.

          As to the pointing and waterproofing,  the  owner  stated,  among
          other things, based on its own inspection  of  the  property,that
          nine apartments were found to be in need of pointing work on  the






          exterior of the building; that  minor  pointing  is  an  item  of
          regular maintenance and it is anticipated that from time to  time
          an additional pointing will  be  required  as  leaks  occur,  but
          urges that such does not negate the  major  work,  which  is  the
          subject of this proceeding, was all  the  work  required  at  the
          time; and that water stains, peeling paint and plaster  as  noted
          by DHCR inspectors around the windows was not the result of water 
          penetration through the walls but was due to seepage  around  the
          old windows which had been  replaced  less  than  two  years  ago
          (1987).

          As to the latter, the owner commented  that  there  may  be  some






          DOCKET NUMBER: EC-630333-RO
          apartments where this condition was  not  corrected  due  to  the
          unwillingness of tenants to permit same or their desire  to  wait
          until their entire apartment was due to be painted.

          On November 20th and 21st, 1989 other physical  inspections  were
          conducted of the subject premises.  Of the twenty-two  apartments
          scheduled for inspection, eight of fifteen  previously  suspected
          apartments (5B, 5K, 6G, 8E, 8D, 11C, 11E and 10J) still disclosed 
          evidence of water damage around windows and/or various  wall  and
          ceiling locations.  Five apartments (1C, 3F, 10B, 10C,  and  11B)
          not previously inspected also disclosed  signs  of  water  damage
          around windows, walls and ceilings.  Said report  further  states
          that the "eleventh floor ceiling and  walls  have  water  damage,
          (sic) evidence of roof leaks".

          On January 29, 1990 the Administrator issued the  order  appealed
          herein revoking such portion of the rent increase as pertained to 
          the roof and pointing and  waterproofing  on  grounds  that  said
          items  were not performed in a workmanlike manner.

          In this petition for administrative review the owner contends, in 
          substance,  that  the  Administrator's   order   is   vague   and
          inconsistent on its face as to  the  specific  dates  inspections
          were conducted during November 1989; that it has made application 
          pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (F.O.I.L) in order  to
          supplement  this  petition;  that  the  number  of  tenants   who
          interposed responses to the  initial  proceeding  increased  from
          five to seventy-six upon  the  remand  thus  creating  an  unduly
          burdensome task for the landlord to  prove  the  quality  of  the
          work; that the DHCR has ruled that a tenant who fails to complain 
          of leaks until after the order is issued  may  not  be  heard  on
          appeal; that the DHCR has held that a leak which occurs five 






          years after the installation of a new roof does  not  necessarily
          indicate that the original work was poorly  performed;  that  the
          owner took appropriate measures to  correct  water  damage  which
          occurred after the new roof was installed; that the reopening  of
          this matter was not warranted  since  there  was  no  illegality,
          irregularity in vital matters or fraud  as  required  by  section
          2527.9 of the Code; and that damage to the various apartments has 
          been repaired including repairs to various apartments  which  had
          exterior leaks.

          With the petition were submitted copies of invoices for  pointing
          and waterproofing various sections  of  the  building,  including
          caulking around windows: Apartment  11-E  (June  21,  August  17,
          September 21, 1989 and February 8, 1990),  Apartment  11-A  (July
          27, 1989 and February 8, 1990), Apartment 11-A (July  27,  1989),
          Apartment 10-J (September 17, 1989), Apartment 10-B (October  26,
          1989), Apartment 11-C (October 5, 1989), Apartment 10-G 
          (October 12, 1989), "outside wall of public terrace" (October 12, 
          1989), and "outside wall of bulkhead leaking into three areas  of
          11th floor hallway" (August 11, 1989).  The  owner  asserts  that
          said information is presented only to show that it is keeping the 






          DOCKET NUMBER: EC-630333-RO
          premises in good repair and in no way concedes that the  original
          improvements to the roof, pointing and waterproofing were done in 
          an unworkmanlike manner.

          After  a  careful  consideration  of  the  entire   record,   the
          Commissioner is of the  opinion  that  this  petition  should  be
          denied. 

          At the outset the  Commissioner  notes  that  the  provisions  of
          Section 2529.9 of the Rent Stabilization  Code  relating  to  the
          reopening of closed proceedings are inapplicable to  the  instant
          matter since the action taken by the Administrator  was  pursuant
          to an order  of  remand  issued  by  the  Commissioner.   Section
          2529.8(b) of the Code authorize  the  Commissioner  to  remand  a
          proceeding to the Rent Administrator for further  action.   Given
          that the Rent Administrator had  not  investigated  the  tenants'
          complaints, the remand order was proper.

          The Commissioner further notes that the owner herein was afforded 
          an opportunity to examine the file in  this  proceeding  pursuant
          to its FOIL request but that no further submission has been  made
          by the owner.   Furthermore,  while  the  order  appealed  herein
          refers at one point to inspections conducted on November 20th, 






          and 21st, 1989 and at a second point to inspections conducted  on
          November 21st and 22nd, 1989, said clerical discrepancy does  not
          vitiate the inspectorial findings nor was  the  owner  prejudiced
          thereby.

          When the matter was  originally  before  the  Rent  Administrator
          over  40 tenants asserted that the work was of poor quality;  and
          that  leaks  and  water  seepage  continued  after   the   stated
          completion of the work.  At that time only  a  sampling  of  five
          tenant responses was sent to the owner.   Inspections  thereafter
          conducted by DHCR employees showed  that  the  problem  of  water
          damage  and  exterior  seepage  was  of  a   widespread   nature,
          indicative  of  poor  workmanship  at  the   time   of   original
          installation rather than a matter of spot maintenance.

          Although the owner was afforded adequate opportunity  to  correct
          the condition noted by the June 1989 inspection,  a  reinspection
          conducted five months later confirmed the continued existence  of
          water damage as well as  recurrent  seepage  from  the  roof  and
          exterior sides of the building.  That the roof  was  patched  and
          bubbling is further evidence of the problem.  The fact that  nine
          apartments (3A, 4D, 11A, 11C, 11E, 10B, 6J, 8H and  8J),  six  of
          which responded to the original application, concededly  required
          additional pointing and waterproofing, and  five apartments  (5B,
          6A, 6F, 8E, 10B), which the owner stated were painted  after  the
          installation of new windows, showed signs of  water  damage  upon
          subsequent inspection is further evidence of a recurring  problem
          of water penetration.

          As  to  the  inspection  of  the  premises  by  the  owner's  own






          DOCKET NUMBER: EC-630333-RO
          employees and the owner's conclusion that the work  performed  in
          1983 and 1984 was properly performed, the Commissioner is of  the
          opinion that the reports of impartial DHCR inspector's  are  more
          probative than the statements made by employees of an  interested
          party to the proceedin .   The  use  of  sophisticated  moisture-
          measuring instruments was unnecessary in this  matter  since  the
          inspector could see there was evidence  of  recent  water  damage
          due to exterior seepage.

          The administrative decision, In the Matter  of  Skiba,  cited  by
          the owner (Docket No.  ART  9595-Q)  entailed  an  administrative
          appeal filed by one tenant who failed to allege the existence  of
          current water seepage until after the Administrator's  order  was
          issued.  The second case, In The Matter of Greenberg, relied on 






          by the owner (Docket No. CE-110147-RT et al), the DHCR held  that
          the possibility of minor leak damage occurring five  years  after
          the installation of a  new  roof  was  insufficient  grounds  for
          finding that the original installation was  not  performed  in  a
          workmanlike manner.

          Both of the above decisions are distinguishable from the  instant
          proceeding which involves complaints by a substantial  number  of
          tenants who responded immediately to the initial  application  as
          well as confirmed  evidence  of  recurring  leak  damage  due  to
          exterior seepage emanating from the roof and exterior walls in 13 
          out of 151 apartments (not counting three  additional  apartments
          which  the  owner  conceded  were  in  need   of   pointing   and
          waterproofing).

          Accordingly, the Administrator  properly  found  that  the  roof,
          pointing and waterproofing performed  in  1983  and  1984  (which
          included  as part of the claimed expense, caulking around windows 
          and "emergency repairs" in December 1984) was not performed in  a
          workmanlike manner and was not all the  work  necessary  to  keep
          the premises reasonably free from exterior water penetration  and
          thus a rent increase was  not  warranted  under  applicable  Code
          provisions.


          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code 
          it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  denied,
          and that the modifying order of the Rent Administrator issued  on
          January 29, 1990 be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.


          ISSUED:



                                                                          
                                             ELLIOT SANDER






          DOCKET NUMBER: EC-630333-RO
                                             Deputy Commissioner







                                               ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW BUREAU
                                                COVERING MEMORANDUM


          ARB Docket No.:  EC-630333-RO  (S.J.R. 5573)

          DRO Docket No/Order No.:  CE 630056-RP/(BS 000271-OM)

          Tenant(s): Various

          Owner:  WYNDHAM REALTY COMPANY,

          Code Section:  2522.4

          Premises:  930 GRAND CONCOURSE, BRONX, NEW YORK

             ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


          Administrator's order issued pursuant  to  remand,  revoking  that
          portion  of  M.C.I.  increase  relating  to  roof,  pointing   and
          waterproofing in 1983 and 1984 based on  substantial  evidence  of
          continued water penetration, affirmed on appeal.



          APPROVED:

          Processing Attorney:                                             

          Supervising Attorney:                                            

          Director:                                                        

          Deputy Counsel:                                                  

          Deputy Commissioner:                                             


          Mailed copies of Order and Determination to:
                         Tenant(s)            
                         Owner                
                         Tenant's Atty.       
                         Owner's Atty.        


          Date:                    : by                                   
                                        signature
    

TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name