Dockets No.: ED 430116-RO, ED 430058-RT, EF 410062-RT
                                  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    SJR NO. 5781
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE    
          APPEALS OF                             ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                                 DOCKETS     NO.     ED     430116-RO
            I.B. SIMKOWITZ REALTY,                           ED 430058-RT 
            VARIOUS TENANTS at 515                     and   EF 410062-RT
            CATHEDRAL PARKWAY, and                    
            SHARON L. SHULA,                     DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                 DOCKET     NO.     CB      430048-OM
                                PETITIONERS    
          ----------------------------------X                           
            
           ORDER AND OPINION REMANDING PROCEEDINGS IN ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                 DOCKET NOS. ED 430116-RO AND ED 430058-RT AND DENYING
                     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW DOCKET NO. EF 410062-RT


          The above-named petitioner-owner  and  above  described  and  named
          tenants filed  and  timely  refiled  petitions  for  administrative
          review of an order issued on March 14, 1990 by the Rent  Administra
          tor, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, NY  concerning  the  housing
          accommodations in premises known  as  515  Cathedral  Parkway,  New
          York, New York, various apartments, wherein the owner's application 
          for a major capital improvement rent increase was granted in part.

          Thereafter, the owner commenced a proceeding in the  Supreme  Court
          pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules,  having
          deemed its petition denied by operation of law.  This  resulted  in
          a  court  ordered  stipulation  remanding  the  proceeding  to  the
          Division for further consideration.

          The instant matter stems from an application filed by the owner  in
          the proceeding below in February 1988 predicated  on  the  installa
          tion in 1987 of new apartment windows, front entrance and vestibule 
          doors and a new chimney.  A  number  of  tenants  objected  to  the
          application on  several  grounds  including,  among  other  things,
          haphazard and faulty  installation  of  the  claimed  improvements;
          failure to replace screens and the use of the inappropriate type of 
          glass in bathroom windows.





          Dockets No.: ED 430116-RO, ED 430058-RT, EF 410062-RT

          On March 14, 1990 the Administrator issued the order  under  review
          herein authorizing a rent increase  for  the  installation  of  new
          windows and entrance/vestibule doors but  disallowing  an  increase
          for the chimney (which was described as  being  incomplete).   Five
          apartments (4F, 12A, 7B, 10C, and 11D) were exempted from paying an 
          increase for the windows because, as specified by  the  owner  with
          its application, new apartment windows  (50)  had  previously  been
          installed in those apartments between 1983 and 1986 and thus  those
          apartments did  not  benefit  from  the  current  apartment  window
          installation.  The Rent Administrator's order contains the notation 
          that the owner was informed of  the  tenants'  complaints  and  was
          requested to advise the Division when repairs were  completed,  and
          that a subsequent inquiry dated October 30, 1989 and a reinspection 
          dated August 16, 1989 revealed that repairs had been made.

          Both the owner and numerous tenants filed petitions for  administra
          tive review of the Administrator's order, which petitions have been 
          consolidated herein for disposition.

          Various tenants in their petition (assigned Docket N .  ED  430058-
          RT) contend, among other things, that the Administrator  failed  to
          follow procedure in that only one of the tenants  (apartment  11-C)
          who answered the application  was  given  a  copy  of  the  owner's
          response and was afforded an opportunity  to  reply  thereto;  that
          few, if  any,  tenants  received  the  "subsequent  inquiry"  dated
          October 30, 1989 referred to in the Administrator's order; that the 
          Administrator erred in granting an increase for the windows as they 
          are  still  defective  in  many  respects  resulting  in  excessive
          condensation  of  moisture  in  the  cold  weather  due  to  faulty
          installation or materials; that storm windows and screens were  not
          replaced; that the owner's failure to replace drafty hallway 




          Dockets No.: ED 430116-RO, ED 430058-RT, EF 410062-RT

          windows show that the apartment windows were replaced  for  reasons
          other than to improve, preserve and maintain  the  structure;  that
          the Administrator erred in  establishing  a  retroactive  effective
          date since all work was not completed as  of  August  1,  1988  and
          because tenants had to wait up  to  two  years  for  unsightly  and
          dangerous conditions to be corrected and some repairs have  yet  to
          be completed in other apartments (1C, 1E, 4E, 5B, 8G, 11G and 12G); 
          and that the entrance/vestibule doors were installed for merely
          cosmetic reasons and do not fit properly.

          In a separately filed petition (assigned Docket No.  EF  110062-RT)
          the tenant of apartment 5F contends, in substance,  that  she  took
          occupancy during the pendency of the proceeding below and  was  not
          afforded an opportunity to state her objections  thereto  and  thus
          should not be required to pay the rent increase.

          In answer thereto the owner submits a copy of this tenant's initial 
          lease, which lease stated then an  application  was  pending  under
          Docket No. CB 430048-OM  for  the  specific  items  which  are  the
          subject of this proceeding and which contains the tenant's  consent
          to pay such rent increase as may  be  authorized  by  the  Division
          thereunder.

          The owner, in its  petition  for  administrative  review  (assigned
          Docket No. ED 430058-RT) contends, in substance, that  the  replace
          ment of a chimney stack qualifies as a major  capital  improvement;
          that such installation  was  fully  documented  in  the  proceeding
          below; and that even if it is found that a complete new chimney was 
          not installed, the owner complied with the requirements of the Code 
          in that all of those components  which  required  replacement  were
          installed.

          In answer thereto, the tenants, via  their  attorney  state,  among
          other things, that the owner failed to provide the Division with  a
          list of all current occupants and thus all tenants were not  served





          Dockets No.: ED 430116-RO, ED 430058-RT, EF 410062-RT

          with the owner's petition; that the actual contract for the chimney 
          was not submitted; that there is a conflict of  dates  between  the
          terms of the contractor's  proposal  and  the  date  payments  were
          allegedly made to the contractor; and that the check  submitted  in
          final payment refers to work performed at an address other than the 
          subject premises.

          After a careful consideration of  the  entire  record,  the  Commis
          sioner is of the opinion that administrative appeal Docket  No.  EF
          410062-RT should be denied; and that administrative  appeal  Docket
          Nos. ED 430116-RO and  ED  430058-RT  should  be  remanded  to  the
          Administrator for further processing in accordance with this  order
          and opinion.

          Concerning the owner's appeal (ED 430116-RO) the Commissioner notes 
          that is the established position of the Division that the  installa
          tion of a complete new chimney for the purpose of providing  proper
          exhaust from the building's heating system meets  the  definitional
          requirements of a major capital improvement.  It appears  that  the
          Administrator's disallowance of  this  items  as  "incomplete"  was
          predicated upon a statement contained in a  "Controlled  Inspection
          Report" submitted  by  a  licensed  professional  engineer  to  the
          Department of Buildings for a "REPLACEMENT STAINLESS STEEL  CHIMNEY
          STACK, EXISTING BASE."

          It is not clear from the record  nor  was  the  owner  afforded  an
          opportunity in this proceeding to establish what the nature of  the
          "existing base"  was  and  whether  or  not  this  "base"  required
          replacement as well in order for the installation  of  the  chimney
          stack to constitute a major capital improvement.  Accordingly,  the
          Commissioner deems it appropriate to remand this proceeding to  the
          Rent Administrator for such further processing  as  may  be  deemed
          required to ascertain the full extent  of  the  work  performed  in
          connection with the chimney replacement.  Upon the remand the 




          Dockets No.: ED 430116-RO, ED 430058-RT, EF 410062-RT

          Administrator should explore, among other things, the  validity  of
          the owner's claimed cost for the chimney, if it is determined  that
          the chimney replacement involved herein constituted a major capital 
          improvement.

          Concerning the petition filed under Docket No.  ED  430058-RT,  the
          Commissioner notes that the installation of new building entrance/
          vestibule doors and the installation of new apartment and/or public 
          area windows on a building-wide basis to replace windows which  are
          25 or more years old (as  is  the  case  herein)  constitute  major
          capital improvements for which a rent increase may be  granted,  if
          the owner otherwise so qualifies.  The Commissioner also notes that 
          it is the position of the Division that where an owner has  earlier
          installed windows (as in the instant case) totalling not in  excess
          of 20 percent of the total  number  of  apartment  windows  in  the
          premises, which windows due  to  their  age  or  condition  do  not
          require  replacement,  that  the  subsequent  replacement  of   all
          remaining apartment windows constitutes a building-wide improvement 
          so as to qualify as a major capital improvement.

          While  the  owner  has  submitted  to  the  Administrator   various
          documentation in support of its application as it pertains  to  the
          apartment windows and building entrance/vestibule doors, the record 
          in this proceeding  reveals  that  numerous  tenants  answered  the
          application below, alleging,  among  other  things,  haphazard  and
          faulty installation of the claimed  improvements,  the  failure  to
          include screens and the use of inappropriate type glass in some  of
          the windows.  Physical inspections were  conducted  of  some  apart
          ments, confirming  some  of  the  tenants'  allegations.   Although
          additional inspections were later conducted, they did  not  include
          all of the apartments found  to  have  defective  installations  as
          revealed by earlier inspection.  This was apparently the result  of
          the Rent Administrator's  reliance  upon  the  owner's  submission,
          dated July 3, 1989, which was served upon only one of a  number  of
          tenants involved in the proceeding below, which submission  stated,





          Dockets No.: ED 430116-RO, ED 430058-RT, EF 410062-RT

          in substance, that all  problems  had  been  addressed.   Moreover,
          parts of that submission were contradicted by the  reports  of  the
          agency's later inspections of certain apartments.

          Furthermore, the record indicates that the Administrator failed  to
          determine some of the substantive issues  raised  by  the  tenants,
          including the owner's removal of  and  failure  to  replace  window
          screens (it is noted that the report of agency  inspection  confirm
          the absence of screens), the substitution of obscure glass in  lieu
          of clear glass in some windows and the allegation by  some  tenants
          (whose rents were increased by  the  instant  order)  that  certain
          windows in  their  apartments  had  been  replaced  only  recently.
          Finally, a number of tenants in their petition  for  administrative
          review  assert  that  windows  and  surrounding  areas  are   still
          defective.  In view of the circumstances present in this case,  and
          in view of the fact that the proceeding in Docket No. ED  430116-RO
          is being remanded to the Rent Administrator for reconsideration  of
          some issues raised by the owner in its petition,  the  Commissioner
          is of the opinion that the proceeding under Docket No. ED 430058-RT 
          should also be remanded to the Administrator  and  be  consolidated
          therewith, for further consideration of the issues  raised  by  the
          tenants and for the issuance of a new determination  resolving  all
          outstanding issues.

          With regard to the petition for administrative review  (Docket  No.
          EF 410062-RT) filed by the tenant of apartment 5-F, the record,  as
          amplified on appeal, indicates that by specific provision  in  this
          tenant's initial lease,  the  tenant  was  put  on  notice  of  the
          pendency of the proceeding before the Rent Administrator,  as  well
          as the nature thereof.  Accordingly, the  Commissioner  finds  that
          apartment  5-F  and  the  subject  tenant  thereof  were  correctly
          included in those subject to rent  increase  ordered  by  the  Rent
          Administrator.  However, this finding is without prejudice to  such
          modification of the Administrator's order (if any)  as  may  result
          from the remand of the other two proceedings as  described  herein.





          Dockets No.: ED 430116-RO, ED 430058-RT, EF 410062-RT

          The Commissioner notes in any event that this tenant would  not  be
          liable for so much of  the  temporary  arrears  as  may  have  been
          attributed to a period prior to this tenant's commencing  occupancy
          of the subject apartment.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent  Stabiliza
          tion Code and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York  City,
          it is

          ORDERED, that petition for administrative review Docket No. 
          EF 410062-RT be, and the same hereby is, denied; and  that  proceed
          ings in Administrative Review Docket  Nos.  ED  430116-RO  and  ED-
          430058-RT be, and the same hereby are  granted  to  the  extent  of
          remanding the proceeding to  the  Rent  Administrator  for  further
          processing  in  accordance  with  this  order  and  opinion.    The
          automatic stay of so much  of  the  District  Rent  Administrator's
          order as directed a retroactive increase is hereby continued  until
          a new order is issued upon the 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.

          ISSUED:



                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner

    

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