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

     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.:EJ 630143-RO
                                            RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
         HOXHA ASSOCIATES,                  DOCKET NO.: DL 630192-OM
                           PETITIONER    : 


     On October 10, 1990, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition for 
     Administrative Review against an order of the  Rent  Administrator  (Gertz
     Plaza)  issued  September  11,  1990.    The   order   concerned   housing
     accommodations, located at 2281 Bathgate Avenue,  Bronx,  New  York.   The
     Rent Administrator granted, in part, the owner's application  for  a  rent
     increase based on the installation of various major capital improvements.

     The owner commenced the instant proceeding on March 23, 1989 by  initially
     filing an application for a rent increase based on the installation  of  a
     boiler/burner, windows, intercom, fuel computer, entrance doors,  concrete
     sidewalk and pointing.

     The  contractor's  certification  submitted   in   connection   with   the
     boiler/burner stated that the installation was completed on  February  11,
     1987.  Various tenants objected to the requested increase  but  raised  no
     specific  complaints  pertaining  to   the   installations.    The   owner
     subsequently withdrew the request for a rent increase for the pointing and 
     the entrance doors.

     The  Administrator's  order  appealed  herein  authorized  major   capital
     improvement rent increases for the building-wide installation of  windows,
     an intercom system,  and  boiler/burner.   As  to  the  latter  item,  the
     increase was limited only to rent controlled  apartments.   Disallowed  by
     the Administrator was the claimed costs of a sidewalk (not here at  issue)
     and a fuel computer as both not constituting major  capital  improvements.
     An  increase for the  boiler/burner  was  denied  as  to  rent  stabilized
     apartments since the application was filed more than two years  after  the
     completion of the installations.

     In this petition the owner contends, in  substance,  that  the  completion
     date of the boiler/burner installation was actually August 27,  1987,  the
     date the New York City Department of Buildings inspected and approved  the
     installation; that the completion date of February 11, 1987 listed on  the
     contractor's certification was the date the final check was issued to  the
     contractor; and that for purposes of the J-51 Tax Abatement  program,  HPD
     uses Building Departmental documentation as  evidence  of  the  completion
     date.  Submitted with the petition is an excerpt from the J-51  Rules  and


          DOCKET NUMBER: EJ 630143-RO
     The petitioner further contends, in  substance,  that  the  fuel  computer
     should be eligible for a major capital improvement rent increase since the 
     function of the computer is to maintain  the  building's  temperature  and
     reduce fuel costs; and that  a  fuel  computer  is  considered  a  capital
     improvement under the J-51 Tax Abatement program.

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

     For work to qualify as a major capital improvement it must satisfy various 
     criteria.  Not only must it be depreciable in nature but the  installation
     must be required for the continued operation, preservation and maintenance 
     of the structure,  other  than  ordinary  repairs  and  maintenance.   The
     installation must be one which is essentially  structural  in  nature  and
     materially add to the value of the property and  appreciably  prolong  the
     life through.

     In this respect the Commissioner is of the  opinion  and  finds  that  the
     Administrator properly disallowed the cost for the fuel computer, which is 
     merely a more sophisticated heat timer, in accordance  with  the  standard
     policy  of  the  Division  not  to  consider  such  items  major   capital
     improvement, but an optional adjunct to a  heating  system  not  necessary
     for its proper functioning.  (Accord AI 810012-RO et al and CK 430183-RO).

     Section 2522.4(a)(8) of the  Rent  Stabilization  Code  precludes  a  rent
     increase for a major capital improvement when  the  application  is  filed
     more than two years after the completion of the installation, not the date 
     of  issuance  of  any  required  governmental  certificate.    While   the
     applicable section of the Code envisions such  governmental  sign-offs  be
     submitted with the  application  to  be  filed  within  two-years  of  the
     physical completion of the work, the Code provides that where there  is  a
     delay in obtaining such approvals,  the  application  is  to  be  accepted
     provided  it  is  accompanied  with  proof  that  a   request   for   such
     governmental approval has been made within two years of the completion  of
     the  installation.   By  acknowledging  that  an  owner  may   seek   such
     governmental approvals within  the  two  year  period,  the  Code  clearly
     provides that the two year period is not  tied  to  the  issuance  of  any
     governmental certificate.  (Accord: EG 430076-RO; EL 210007-RT  and
     EL 630365-RO).  In the last cited proceeding  a  window  installation  was
     considered complete when the old windows were actually  replaced  and  not
     when all adjustments or defects were attended to.

     Turning to the case at hand,  the  Commissioner  notes  that  the  heating
     contractor's invoice specifies payment terms to be $10,000.00 upon signing 
     of the  contract,  $10,000.00  upon  50%  completion  and  $4,500.00  upon
     completion of the  job  with  the  balance  to  be  paid  in  six  monthly
     installments of $1,300.00 each.  The record shows that the contractor  was
     paid $4,500.00 on October 10, 1986, upon the completion of the job.   Even
     if the last payment to the contractor, dated February 11, 1987, were to be 
     considered evidence of completion, the Administrator properly disallowed a 
     rent increase for the boiler/burner as to stabilize  apartments  based  on
     the fact that the application was still not  filed  within  two  years  of
     completion.  The owner has not established that this determination  is  in


          DOCKET NUMBER: EJ 630143-RO
     Regarding the owner's  reference  to  J-51  tax  abatement  benefits,  the
     Commissioner notes that the J-51 program is  governed  by  an  independent
     body of law and regulations.  Thus the ruling therein is not determinative 
     in this proceeding which  requires  an  independent  determination  as  to
     whether the installation qualifies as a major capital  improvement  within
     the purview of the specific Rent Laws and Regulations applicable  to  this

     Based  upon  the  entire  record   the   Commissioner   finds   that   the
     Administrator's order is correct and should be affirmed.

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the provision of the Rent Stabilization Code 
     and the Rent and Eviction Regulation for New York City, it is

     ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is denied;and that the 
     order of the rent administrator be, and the same hereby is affirmed.


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                      Acting Deputy Commissioner


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