OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          -------------------------------------X   ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEALS OF                               EH210066RT    EH210104RT
                                                   EH210143RT    EH210316RT
                    VARIOUS TENANTS OF             EH210318RT    EH210341RT
                    100, 110, 210 CATON AVENUE     EH210479RT    EJ210284RT
                    AND 333 MCDONALD AVENUE
                    BROOKLYN, NEW YORK             RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                   DOCKET NO.: ZDC210149OM 



          The petitioner-tenants timely filed  or  re-filed  petitions  for
          administrative review against an order issued on July 20, 1990 by 
          the Rent Administrator (92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York) 
          concerning the housing accommodations known as 100, 110  and  210
          Caton Avenue and 333 McDonald Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, various 
          apartments, wherein the Rent Administrator granted major  capital
          improvement (MCI) rent increases for the stabilized apartments in 
          the subject premises based on the installation of new windows  at
          the premises.

          The owner commenced this  proceeding  below  by  filing  its  MCI
          application in March of 1989. In support of its application,  the
          owner  submitted  copies  of  the  contract,   the   contractor's
          certification and cancelled checks.

          Several tenants objected  to  the  owner's  MCI  application  and
          contended, in substance, that the new windows were defective; that 
          the former windows were not properly maintained; and  that  their
          rents had been increased for storm windows which were installed two 
          years prior to the thermal window installation.

          On May 21, 1990 the Rent Administrator  forwarded  to  the  owner
          copies of only three tenant responses which dealt with the issue of 
          the replaced storm windows.

          On May 29, 1990 and June 27, 1990, the owner submitted statements 
          admitting that 1/40th of the cost of the storm windows  had  been
          added to the rents of those tenants who had received storm windows, 
          but that the storm window increase would  be  deducted  from  the
          tenants' rents when the MCI was approved.

          ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO. EG-210360-RT

          On July 20, 1990, the Rent Administrator issued  the  order  here
          under review finding that the installation qualified as  an  MCI,
          determining that the application complied with the relevant  laws
          and regulations based upon the supporting documentation submitted 
          by the owner, and allowing rent  increases  for  rent  stabilized

          The Administrator also directed the owner to stop collecting  the
          increase of 1/40th of the cost for storm windows from those tenants 
          who were paying for the same.

          On appeal, the petitioner-tenants allege, in substance,  that  A)
          their original complaints concerning defects with the new  window
          installation were ignored; B) one tenant stated she paid for  the
          replaced storm windows and should be reimbursed; C) the  replaced
          windows were so deteriorated that the new windows were a necessity; 
          D) the rent increase should not be  permanent;  and  E)  the  new
          windows are still defective.

          In response to the tenants' petitions, the  owner  contended,  in
          substance, that it responded only to the tenant responses which it 
          received from DHCR; this is  the  first  time  that  it  received
          complaints about the windows; and the new  windows  are  of  high

          After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that  this  proceeding  should  be
          remanded to the Rent Administrator for further consideration.

          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
          generally be 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.

          The petitioners' claim that the rent increase should be eliminated 
          upon the expiration of the amortization period is rejected because 
          the New York State Court of Appeals in  the  case  of  Matter  of
          Ansonia  Residents  Association  v.  DHCR  ruled  that  the  rent
          regulatory laws mandate that the increase be permanent.

          It is the established position of the Division that the building 
          wide installation of new windows, to replace windows which are 25 
          or more years old, constitutes an MCI for which an increase may be 
          warranted, provided the owner otherwise so qualifies.

          In this respect, the evidence  of  record  in  the  instant  case
          indicates  that  numerous  tenant   objections   concerning   the
          defectiveness of the new windows, made in response to the owner's 
          MCI application, were not considered by the Administrator. 

          ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO. EG-210360-RT

          Since the quality of the window  installation  is  very  much  in
          dispute, and since the Administrator failed to adequately address 
          this issue, the  Commissioner  deems  it  appropriate  that  this
          proceeding should be remanded to the  Administrator  for  further
          processing of the owner's MCI application, which processing should 
          consider the issue of the quality of the installation raised by the 
          tenants during both the proceeding before the Administrator and on 

          Finally, the Commissioner notes, and it is  undisputed  from  the
          record,  that  the  owner  installed  storm  windows  in  several
          apartments two to five years prior to the subject thermal  window
          installation, for which the  affected  tenants  received  a  rent
          increase.  It is obvious that the useful life of the storm windows 
          had not expired when they were unilaterally removed by the owner. 
          Accordingly, should it be found by  the  Administrator  upon  the
          remand that the owner is entitled to an MCI rent increase, then the 
          owner should be directed to refund to the  tenants  any  increase
          collected for the storm windows after the effective date of  said
          MCI increase, if the owner has not already done so.

          The order herein is issued without prejudice to the tenants' right 
          to file individual complaints of rent overcharge, if the facts so 

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

          ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, granted 
          to  the  extent  of  remanding  this  proceeding  to   the   Rent
          Administrator for further processing in accordance with this order 
          and  opinion.   The  automatic  stay  of  so  much  of  the  Rent
          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
                                                        Deputy Commissioner



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