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

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: EA430035RT
             VARIOUS TENANTS,                    RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                 DOCKET NO.: BD410513OM
                                PETITIONER    : 


          The above named petitioner-tenants filed a Petition for 
          Administrative Review against an order issued on December 1, 1989 
          by the Rent Administrator, (Gertz Plaza) concerning housing 
          accommodations known as 231-237 Second Avenue, New York, various 
          apartments, wherein the Administrator granted major capital 
          improvement (MCI) rent increases for the controlled and stabilized 
          apartments in the subject premises based on the installation of a 
          boiler/burner, a new roof and an intercom system at the premises.

          The owner commenced the proceeding below by filing its MCI 
          application in April, 1987.  

          In response to the application, various tenants (3) filed answers 
          alleging the following: (a) the boiler/burner was improperly 
          maintained; and (b) it is the responsibility of the owner to 
          provide an operative intercom system and a non-leaking roof.  The 
          tenants also stated that renovations to an apartment attributed to 
          the intercom damage.

          On December 1, 1989 the Administrator issued the order appealed 
          herein granting, in part, the owner's application.  Denied was the 
          claimed cost for steam cleaning of the building, not qualifying as 
          a major capital improvement.

          On appeal, the petitioner-tenants reiterate, in substance, prior 
          allegations to the effect that a dormant intercom was merely 
          repaired not replaced and several "long term" tenants recall that 
          the intercom had been damaged by workmen; the replacement of the 
          heating system was due to improper maintenance; and the roof was 
          only covered with tar paper.  Furthermore, the tenants question the 
          total room count used for computing the rent increase.

          In response to the tenants' petition, the owner filed an answer 
          stating, in substance, that the roof and boiler/burner allegations 
          stated by tenants does not prejudice the owner's right to collect 
          an MCI rent increase; that the record already contains evidence 
          such as a sworn statement from the contractor certifying the scope 
          of the intercom replacement, an invoice from the contractor, and 
          the Supplement I portion of the application signed by the 


          ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: EA430035RT

          contractor; and that the rent increase of each apartment was based
          upon room count information already on file with the DHCR as part 
          of the building registration data.

          After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeals 
          should be denied.

          Rent increases for major capital improvements are authorized by 
          Section 2202.4 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations for rent 
          controlled apartments and Section 2522.4 of the Rent Stabilization 
          Code for rent stabilized apartments.  Under rent control, an 
          increase is warranted where there has been since July 1, 1970 a 
          major capital improvement required for the operation, preservation, 
          or maintenance of the structure.  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.

          It is the established position of the Division that the type of 
          work recognized in the Administrator's order meet the definitional 
          requirement of a MCI for which a rent increase may be warranted if 
          the owner otherwise so qualifies.  In this respect the Commissioner 
          notes that it was the policy of the DHCR that a roof cap sheet of 
          the type involved herein qualified as a new roof at the time the 
          work in question was performed.  It further appears from the record 
          that the prior heating system had exhausted its useful life and 
          that intercom and roof were in such condition that their 
          replacement was required for the continued operation, preservation 
          and maintenance of the structure.

          The record discloses that the owner's application complied with all 
          procedural and factual requirements for a MCI, including the 
          submission of contracts, contractor's certifications, cancelled 
          checks, and requisite government approvals and sign-offs for the 
          boiler/burner installation.  The tenants' unsubstantiated 
          allegations regarding the prior intercom are insufficient to refute 
          the supporting documentation submitted by the owner.

          With respect to the tenants' allegation concerning excessive room 
          count, the Commissioner notes that the Administrator made specific 
          inquiry of the owner, as to this issue and the owner is cautioned, 
          in accordance with Policy Statement 90-3, that it may not collect 
          an increase based on a greater number of rooms as defined for MCI 
          purposes as exist in any individual apartment, and that any 
          miscount of rooms is the responsibility of the owner.

          Pursuant to Policy Statement 90-3, a room is defined as follows:

               a)  A windowless kitchen containing at least 59 square   

          ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: EA430035RT

               b)  An enclosed area with window containing at least 60  
                   square feet, or

               c)  An enclosed area without window containing at least  
                   80 square feet.  Bathroom, walk-in closets, etc., are  

          The tenants are advised that the determination herein is without 
          prejudice to the right to file complaints with this Division based 
          on a rent overcharge, if the facts so warrant.

          On the basis of the entire evidence of record, it is found that the 
          Administrator's order is correct and should be affirmed.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code, the Rent and Eviction Regulations for 
          the City of New York, and Operational Bulletin 84-1, it is

          ORDERED, that the administrative appeal be, and the same hereby is 
          denied; and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby 
          is affirmed.


                                               JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                               Deputy Commissioner



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