ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. FA 430216 RO


                                  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  S.J.R. NO. 5797 
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET  NO.  FA  430216  RO
           
                                              :    DISTRICT    RENT    ORDER
                                                 DOCKET NO. BI 430135 - OM  
                                                  
              YORK              AND              87               ASSOCIATES
              C/O                   PHILIPS                    INTERNATIONAL
                                            
                                 PETITIONER   :  
          ------------------------------------X 

           ORDER AND OPINION REMANDING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


               On January 18, 1991 the above-named petitioner-owner filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review  against  an  order  issued  on
          December 19, 1990 by the  Rent  Administrator,  92-31  Union  Hall
          Street, Jamaica, NY concerning housing accommodations known as 448 
          East 87th Street, New York, New York, various apartments. 

               The owner initiated the instant proceeding below on September 
          14, 1987 by filing an application for a major capital  improvement
          rent increase based on the installation, in the subject 19  family
          dwelling, of a new intercom system and new mailboxes  at  a  total
          claimed cost of $3,778.00.  In response to a poll conducted by the 
          Administrator the tenants  of  three  apartments  (4A,  4B  &  5A)
          alleged defects  with  the  intercom  system.   By  notices  dated
          September 19th, and November 19th, 1990 the owner was requested to 
          investigate and correct the tenants' complaints.  

               The order of the Administrator  appealed  herein  denied  the
          application based  on  the  owner's  failure  to  respond  to  the
          aforesaid notices.  That portion of the application  as  pertained
          to mailboxes was denied on the additional ground  that  they  were
          reinstalled in the outer vestibule and thus did not  constitute  a
          major capital improvement. 

               In its petition the owner herein contends, in substance, that 
          it did not receive either of the notices dated September  19th  or
          November 19th, 1990; and that since the filing of its  application
          there was a change in its mailing address to 417 Fifth Avenue, New 
          York, New York.  The owner further contends, in substance, that an 
          increase should have been allowed for the mailboxes since they are 
          located behind a locked front entrance door  and  thereby  satisfy
          the requirements for a major capital improvement.  


               In response thereto one tenant reiterated a statement made in 
          the  proceeding  below  that  the  intercom  and  mailboxes   were






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. FA 430216 RO
          installed as part of an agreement the owner was prepared  to  make
          in order to induce purchasers at the time the building  was  being
          converted to a cooperative form of ownership. 

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

               With respect to the mailboxes the record discloses that  they
          were reinstalled in a different location in  the  outer  vestibule
          while at the same time the owner affixed the intercom panel to the 
          exterior of the building.  It is the established position  of  the
          Division  that  the  installation  of  mailboxes  per  se  do  not
          constitute a major capital improvement but rather their structural 
          relocation to a more secure area behind locked doors.   Since  the
          mailboxes  in  question  were  reinstalled  in  the  same  general
          location as the old ones, the Administrator  properly  found  them
          not  to  qualify  as  a  major  capital  improvement  since   said
          installation did not entail the additional requirement  that  they
          be relocated from the outer vestibule to a more secure inner  area
          behind a second set of  locked  doors  (as  provided  for  in  the
          contract for the intercom system).  

               However, with respect  to  the  intercom  system  the  record
          discloses that two physical  inspections  were  conducted  of  the
          subject premises, the reports of which disclose that  said  system
          was functioning; that the inspector was buzzed into  the  building
          by the superintendent; and that two of the tenants who objected in 
          the proceeding below failed to provide access to the inspector  on
          two occasions.

               While the record further shows that the notices  seeking  the
          owner's compliance with  the  tenants'  complaints  were  properly
          addressed to the petitioner herein at the address  specified,  the
          Commissioner  is  of  the  opinion  that  it  was  error  for  the
          Administrator to have predicated so much  of  the  application  as
          related to the intercom system based on  the  owner's  failure  to
          address complaints found  to  be  unsubstantiated  by  independent
          investigation.  Accordingly, this proceeding is  remanded  to  the
          Rent Administrator to complete the processing of so  much  of  the
          application as pertains to the intercom system.  

               THEREFORE, in accordance with  the  provisions  of  the  Rent
          Stabilization Code, it is









               ORDERED, that this  petition  be,  and  the  same  hereby  is
          granted to the extent of remanding this  proceeding  to  the  Rent
          Administrator for further processing in accordance with this order 
          and opinion.







          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. FA 430216 RO
          ISSUED:





                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner



                                          






























    

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