EJ 610061-RT, et al.
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          -----------------------------------X    SJR No. 5787
          APPEAL OF                          :    DOCKET NOS.:   EJ 610061-RT;
                                             :    EJ 610063-RT - EJ 610114-RT;
                                             :    EJ 610122-RT;  EJ 610131-RT;
                                             :    EJ 610132-RT;  EJ 610134-RT;
               VARIOUS TENANTS OF            :    EJ 610137-RT - EJ 610141-RT;
                                             :    EJ 610143-RT;  EJ 610160-RT;
               1150 GRAND CONCOURSE          :    EJ 610161-RT;  EJ 610163-RT-
                                             :    EJ 610172-RT;  EJ 610174-RT-  
               BRONX, NEW YORK               :    EJ 610177-RT;  EJ 610244-RT;
                                             :    EJ 620173-RT;  EJ 610265-RT-
                                             :    EJ 610269-RT;  EJ 610421-RT;
                                             :    EK 610294-RT;  EJ 610278-RT
                                             :    DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                             :    DOCKET NO.: ZBF 630115-OM     
                            PETITIONERS      :


          On various dates, the above named petitioner-tenants timely  filed
          Petitions for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          September 6, 1990, by the Rent  Administrator,  92-31  Union  Hall
          Street, Jamaica, New York, concerning housing accommodations known 
          as various apartments of 1150 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York.

          On April 9, 1991 the Commissioner  issued  an  Order  and  Opinion
          granting the tenants' petitions and revoking  the  Administrator's

          Subsequent thereto, the owner filed  a  petition  in  the  Supreme
          Court pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law  and  Rules
          requesting that the order of the Commissioner be  annulled.   This
          resulted in an order of the court remanding the proceeding to  the
          Division for further consideration.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence  in  the  record
          and has carefully reconsidered that portion of the record relevant 
          to the issues raised by the administrative appeal.


          EJ 610061-RT, et al.

          This proceeding was commenced on  June  1,  1987  by  the  owner's
          filing of  an  application  for  a  rent  increase  based  on  the
          installation  of  several  major  capital  improvements   (MCI's).
          Specifically, the owner stated that it had installed new  windows,
          mailboxes, a fuel computer, a fireproof roof door, an elevator car 
          and elevator hall stations at a total cost of $194,222.58.

          In Docket No. ZBF 630115-OM issued September  6,  1990,  the  Rent
          Administrator partially approved the owner's  MCI  application  by
          authorizing a rent increase of $6.91 per room, per month  for  all
          rent controlled and rent  stabilized  apartments  in  the  subject
          building predicated on the installation of windows and a fireproof 
          door, which work was found to qualify as an MCI.

          In these petitions the tenants contend, inter alia, that the  Rent
          Administrator's order is incorrect and should be  revoked  because
          the windows had not been properly maintained; the new windows were 
          not properly installed; the room counts with  respect  to  certain
          lines is not correct; and the owner was  not  providing  essential

          In response the owner contends, in substance, that  all  essential
          services are provided to the subject premises; that the room count 
          is correct; and that the window replacement was necessary.

          After  a  careful  reconsideration  of  the  entire  record,   the
          Commissioner is of the opinion  that  these  petitions  should  be
          granted in part.

          It is the established position of the DHCR that the  building-wide
          installation of new apartment windows and/or public  area  windows
          to replace windows  which  are  25  or  more  years  old  and  the
          installation  of  fireproof   doors   constitute   major   capital
          improvements  for  which  a  rent  increase  adjustment   may   be
          warranted, provided the owner otherwise so qualifies.  

          With respect to the tenants' window allegations, the record  shows
          that on August  7  and  10,  1990,  the  DHCR  conducted  physical
          inspections of the apartments of the 3 tenants who  raised  window
          complaints during the proceeding before  the  Rent  Administrator,
          the results of which failed to substantiate said complaints.

          With respect to the tenants' room count  allegations,  the  record
          reveals that the room counts of 2 tenants who  raised  allegations
          specific to their  respective  apartments  during  the  proceeding
          below were verified by the DHCR at the  above  mentioned  physical
          inspections.  The tenants' allegations regarding  room  counts  in
          other lines of apartments may not be considered for the first time 
          on appeal because they were not raised below.


          EJ 610061-RT, et al.

          With respect to the tenants' allegations that  the  owner  is  not
          maintaining services, it is the established policy of the DHCR, as 
          reflected in Policy Statement 90-8, that "where there  is  a  DHCR
          order in effect determining a failure to maintain a  building-wide
          service which resulted in  a  rent  reduction",  such  order  will
          constitute  a  bar  to  obtaining  an  MCI  rent  increase.    The
          subsequent restoration of rent  based  on  a  finding  of  service
          restoration will result in the  prospective  elimination  of  this

          Policy Statement 90-8 further provides that where there is a  DHCR
          order in effect determining a failure to maintain services  in  an
          individual apartment(s), and an MCI rent increase is approved, the 
          MCI order will be issued for the entire building granting the rent 
          increase.  However, until a restoration order is  issued  for  the
          individual apartment(s), the owner is barred from  collecting  the
          prospective increase and any retroactive increase is forfeited for 
          the period during which a rent reduction order was in effect.

          A review of Division  records  discloses  that  orders  previously
          issued under Docket Nos. 60635-B and BCS 000144-B merely  directed
          a restoration of services but did not provide the  sanction  of  a
          rent reduction and thus the owner was not  required  to  take  any
          further action before the Division.  Under such circumstances  and
          in accordance with Policy Statement 90-8, the Commissioner  is  of
          the opinion and finds that said orders do not act as a bar to  the
          issuance of the MCI rent increase order appealed herein.

          Division's records further reveal that on March  13,  1987  orders
          were issued under  Docket  No.  AL  630166-HW,  wherein  the  Rent
          Administrator determined that the  owner  had  failed  to  provide
          adequate heat and/or hot water services to 15 apartments based  on
          a physical inspection of the subject premises, and ordered a  rent
          reduction  for  those  apartments.   While  said  proceeding   was
          commenced by 72 tenants as a complaint of a building-wide decrease 
          in services, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the  decrease
          in service found therein cannot be considered to be of a building 
          wide nature for MCI purposes in view of the fact that heat and hot 
          water was found to be adequate  with  respect  to  numerous  other
          apartments.  Said order of rent reduction was affirmed pursuant to 
          an Order and Opinion (BD 610213-RO) issued by the Commissioner  on
          March 8, 1991 and DHCR's records shows that  no  rent  restoration
          order has been issued with respect thereto.

          The Commissioner also notes  that  in  Docket  No.  EF  630066-HW,
          issued just 36 days subsequent to the order being appealed herein, 
          the Rent Administrator found that the owner had failed to  provide
          adequate hot water service to 40 listed apartments and, ordered  a
          rent reduction, effective August 1,  1990.   Said  order  affected
          only rent stabilized apartments.   In  Docket  No.  FJ  610054-OR,
          issued May 1, 1992, the Rent Administrator found that services had 


          EJ 610061-RT, et al.

          been restored and accordingly restored the rent effective 
          November 1, 1991.  Although,  the  above  rent  reduction  was  in
          effect at the time  the  owner's  MCI  application  was  partially
          approved, this order was  not  of  a  building-wide  nature.   The
          Commissioner is of the opinion and finds that said order 
          (EF 630066-HW) does not act as a bar to the issuance  of  the  MCI
          rent increase order appealed herein.

          However, Division records,  including  a  printout  of  violations
          reported by the New York City Department of  Housing  Preservation
          and Development (HPD) through  January  27,  1992,  disclose  that
          approximately 284 violations were outstanding against the  subject
          premises at the time the order  appealed  herein  was  issued.   A
          check of these violations reveals that 13 of said violations (Item 
          Nos. 468, 812, 866, 1021, 1069,  1079,  1130,  1132,  1134,  1141,
          1153,  1183  and  1199)  were  classified  as   "C"   (immediately
          hazardous) and were not tenant caused.  Section  2522.4(a)(13)  of
          the Rent Stabilization Code provides:

               "The DHCR shall not grant an owner's application for [an 
               MCI rent increase], in whole or in part, if it is 
               determined by the DHCR prior to the granting of approval 
               to collect such adjustment that the owner is not 
               maintaining all required services, or that there are 
               current immediately hazardous violations of any 
               municipal, county, state or federal law which relate to 
               the maintenance of such services.  However, as 
               determined by the DHCR, such application may be granted 
               upon condition that such services will be restored 
               within a reasonable time, and certain tenant-caused 
               violations may be excepted."

          Accordingly, the Commissioner  deems  it  appropriate  to  suspend
          collection of the rent increase pending the owner's submission  of
          proof to the DHCR, within 90 days of the issuance of  this  order,
          that said HPD  "C"  immediately  hazardous  violations  have  been
          corrected.  The owner's failure to submit such proof,  within  the
          time specified, will result in the  revocation  of  the  MCI  rent

          Notwithstanding   any   subsequent   affirmance   of   the    Rent
          Administrator's order, the Commissioner  notes,  as  reflected  in
          said order, as well as in Policy Statement 90-8,  that  the  owner
          may not collect any increase provided for in  the  Administrator's
          order with respect to any individual apartment during  the  period
          of time a rent reduction order based upon a  failure  to  maintain
          services, is in effect where the  effective  dates  of  such  rent
          reduction order is prior to the issuance date of the MCI orders, 
          until such time as there is a finding by DHCR that  services  have
          been restored.


          EJ 610061-RT, et al.

          The Commissioner notes that on December 2, 1988 the tenants of the 
          subject building filed a  complaint  of  a  decrease  in  building
          services under Docket No. CL 630016-B; and that a decision in that 
          case is forthcoming.  While the instant order is issued under  the
          time constraints  mandated  by  the  above  mentioned  Article  78
          proceeding, the Commissioner notes that the determination in  said
          pending services proceeding may impact upon  the  owner's  further
          entitlement to collect the MCI increase at issue herein.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
          and the New York City Rent and Eviction Regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that  these  petitions  be,  and  the  same  hereby  are,
          granted in part to the extent of suspending the  MCI  increase  in
          the amount of $6.91 per  room,  per  month.   This  proceeding  is
          hereby remanded to the Rent Administrator for  further  processing
          in accordance with this Order and Opinion.


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner

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