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 
     IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: FC 210136-RT,
                                         :  FC 210161-RT,FC 210162-RT,
       VARIOUS TENANTS,                     FC 210163-RT,FC 210164-RT,
                             PETITIONER  :  FC 210165-RT,FC 210166-RT,
     ------------------------------------X  FC 210167-RT,FC 210168-RT,
                                            FC 210169-RT,FC 210170-RT,
                                            FC 210171-RT,FC 210172-RT,
                                            FC 210173-RT,FC 210174-RT,
                                            FC 210175-RT,FC 210176-RT,
                                            FC 210177-RT,FC 210178-RT,
                                            FC 210179-RT,FC 210180-RT,
                                            FC 210181-RT,FC 210182-RT,
                                            FC 210183-RT,FC 210184-RT,
                                            FC 210185-RT,FC 210186-RT,
                                            FC 210187-RT,FC 210188-RT,
                                            FC 210189-RT,FC 210191-RT,
                                            FC 210192-RT,FC 210236-RT,
                                            FC 210237-RT,FC 210241-RT,
                                            FC 210476-RT,FD 210270-RT,
                                            FD 210378-RT, AMD FE 210026-RT
                                         

                                            DRO DOCKET NO.: BL 210064-OM

                 ORDER AND OPINION REMANDING PROCEEDINGS ON APPEAL

     The  above-named  tenants  timely   filed   or   refiled   Petitions   for
     Administrative Review against an order issued February  8,  1991,  by  the
     Rent Administrator at Gertz  Plaza,  Jamaica,  New  York,  concerning  the
     housing accommodations known as various apartments at 55 Winthrop  Street,
     Brooklyn, New York, wherein the Administrator granted the  application  of
     the owner  (55  Realty  Associates)  to  increase  the  rentals  based  on
     installation of Major Capital Improvements (MCIs).

     The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence on the  record  and  has
     carefully considered that portion of the record  relevant  to  the  issues
     raised in the administrative appeals.

     The owner commenced the proceeding below on December 11, 1987,  by  filing
     an application to increase the rentals for stabilized apartments based  on
     the installation of Major Capital Improvements consisting of a new roof, a 
     new boiler and aluminum thermal replacement windows.   The  owner  claimed
     costs of $10,500.00 for the installation of a new roof, $48,000.00 for the 
     new boiler and $97,120.00 for the installation of replacement windows.  In 
     the application the owner indicated that the  building  contains  76  rent
     stabilized apartments and the superintendent's apartment.









          DOCKET NUMBER: FC 210136-RT; et.al.
     In  response  to  the  owner's  application,  the  55   Winthrop   Tenants
     Association and, individually, the tenants of forty-nine apartments  filed
     answers in opposition to the application.

     The tenants contended,  in  substance,  that  the  work  done  constituted
     ordinary repairs and  not  improvements,  that  some  of  the  replacement
     windows do not function properly and were  not  properly  installed,  that
     window guards were not replaced after the replacement windows were 

     installed; the building suffers from a substantial infestation of  rodents
     and cockroaches, that many apartments have water leaks in  the  walls  and
     ceilings  and,  consequently,  sections  of  ceilings   (particularly   in
     bathrooms) have fallen or are about to fall; there is inadequate heat  and
     hot water; screens were not replaced when the new windows were  installed;
     there is no resident superintendent; there are no smoke detectors  in  the
     apartments; the intercom system and individual apartment doorbells do  not
     work; the owner had received a real property tax abatement as a result  of
     the alleged improvements  and  the  tenants  should  participate  in  that
     benefit; the building's public areas are not kept clean; the elevators are 
     not kept clean and  elevator  service  is  often  disrupted  due  to  poor
     maintenance; the mailboxes are not  secure;  the  old  boiler  was  merely
     refurbished and not replaced and the old roof was merely patched  and  not
     replaced; and it leaks.

     The owner responded, in substance, as follows:

          a)   there is a resident superintendent

          b)    a  new  burner/boiler  was  installed;   it   is   properly
               maintained;  and  heat  and  hot  water  are   provided   in
               accordance with applicable law.

          c)   the windows were properly installed and the few problems
               that have been brought to the owner's attention have either
               been corrected or are in the process of being corrected;

          d)   there is regular monthly exterminator service on the second
               Saturday of each month and the tenants are given written 
               reminders in advance of each visit by the exterminator and
               the exterminator is available to the tenants on an  
               emergency basis.

          e)   screens are not required to be provided with replacement
               windows to entitle the owner to an MCI increase.

          f)   two tenants have been provided with smoke detectors in the
               course of repair work recently done by the owner.

          g)   the intercom system is being rewired and those complaints
               which have not already been corrected are in the process of
               being corrected.

          h)   the building is kept clean by the superintendent and is
               otherwise properly maintained.








          DOCKET NUMBER: FC 210136-RT; et.al.
          i)   the owner has spent thousands of dollars repairing the
               apartments and either repairing or replacing the equipment
               therein.

          j)   the elevators are properly maintained and regularly 
               serviced.

          k)   a new roof was installed and the superintendent inspected 
               apartments 6B,6C,6D,6G,6H, 6I and 6L and found  no  evidence
               of leaks in any of those apartments.  

     The owner also submitted a Certificate of Eligibility and Reasonable  Cost
     issued by the City of New York  Department  of  Housing  Preservation  and
     Development which indicated  that  the  reasonable  cost  of  the  subject
     improvements was $136,800.00.

     In the order below the Administrator granted the requested increase  based
     on the full, stated cost for installation of a new roof, a new boiler  and
     replacement windows.  Thirty-nine tenants filed the within  administrative
     appeals against the Administrator's order.  Pursuant to Section  2529.1(c)
     of the Code, these petitions are consolidated herein.

     On appeal, the petitioner-tenants contend, in substance that:  1)  no  new
     boiler was installed (the old one was merely  patched  up)  and  there  is
     inadequate heat and hot water; 2)   the  roof  was  not  replaced,  merely
     patched and there are a number of places where it leaks  3)   the  windows
     installed are defective and were not installed in a workmanlike manner  so
     that they malfunction and cold air comes into the apartments  from  around
     the windows; 4)  that all essential services are  not  maintained  at  the
     subject building; 5) that in the common areas, as well as apartments,  the
     following conditions can be found, among others: vermin  water  leaks  and
     poor elevator service.  In addition, the tenant of apartment 5L claims  to
     have taken  occupancy  after  the  improvements  had  been  installed  and
     therefore assumed that the tenant's vacancy lease rent included  the  cost
     of the improvements.

          In its answers to the petitions, the owner, in substance, stated  the
     following:

          1.  all improvements were made as set forth  in  the  application
          and  said  improvements  are  all   properly   fulfilling   their
          functions

          2.  various petitioners failed  to  raise  certain  issues  below
          which they have raised on appeal.

          3  various petitioners failed to  answer  the  application  below
          and, therefore, in accordance with ART 2533-K  and  ART  04527-K,
          those petitions should be dismissed.

     The Commissioner is of the opinion that this matter should be remanded  to
     the Administrator for further, appropriate processing.

     The Commissioner  finds  that  the  tenants'  allegations  concerning  the
     pervasive problems throughout the building with respect to water leaks has 
     not been addressed by the owner.  The Commissioner therefore finds that 






          DOCKET NUMBER: FC 210136-RT; et.al.
     there may be a persistent condition at the subject building which consists 
     of the invasion of the walls and ceilings of the subject building by water 
     from one or more sources.  The Commissioner  further  finds  that  such  a
     pervasive problem (revealed  by,  among  other  things,  mold  forming  on
     apartment walls and ceilings falling or deteriorated to the point of  near
     collapse), if proven would constitute an immediately hazardous  condition.
     Therefore, the Commissioner believes that it is not necessary to determine 
     whether this alleged condition stems from defects in  the  heat/hot  water
     system, the roof or otherwise in order to  reach  the  determination  that
     these proceedings should be remanded for further  appropriate  processing,
     including consideration of an inquiry into the source of the alleged water 
     damage, the extent to which it has impaired the  structural  integrity  of
     the subject building and the housing accommodations  located  therein  and
     whether or not, after making said inquiry, the Administrator should revoke 
     the appealed order.

     The Commissioner notes that although  the  owner  may  enjoy  certain  tax
     advantages as a consequence of installations involved  herein,  this  does
     not preclude an owner's entitlement to a major  capital  improvement  rent
     increase  adjustment  therefor.   The  Commissioner  notes   that   recent
     legislation now provides that tenants of rent  stabilized  apartments  may
     share in the benefits of tax abatements received by an owner  pursuant  to
     J-51 of the Administrative Code.  However, such provision does  not  apply
     to the instant matter since the law is  specifically  applicable  to  work
     commenced after June 28, 1988.

     As to the allegation of  Claudette  M.  Jack  (Docket  No.  FC  210183-RT:
     apartment 5L) that since the improvements had been  installed  before  she
     took occupancy, she had assumed  that  any  resultant  rent  increase  had
     already been included in her vacancy lease rent,  the  Commissioner  notes
     that the Division's records indicate that this tenant first took occupancy 
     under a two year lease whose  term  commenced  on  December  1,  1988  and
     expired on November 30, 1990.  Annexed to the tenant's petition is a  copy
     of her renewal lease, whose term commenced on December 1,  1990  and  will
     expire on November  30,  1992.   The  Commissioner  points  out  that  any
     increase the owner collected under the tenant's vacancy  lease,  over  and
     above the prior tenant's stabilized rent, was  limited  to  what  the  law
     would allow.  The owner could not have legally collected an increase based 
     on the MCIs herein absent a Division order (such as the February  8,  1991
     order below) giving the owner the right  to  do  so  and  prescribing  the
     precise amount of that increase.   Therefore,  the  law  provides  that  a
     tenant who takes occupancy after the installation of the MCIs  is  subject
     to a rent increase based on the cost of said MCIs.   Nevertheless,  as  is
     reflected at sub-paragraph A. 2, clause b,  on  page  3  of  the  appealed
     order, for the increases  granted  by  the  Administrator's  order  to  be
     collectible during the term of a lease  in  effect  at  the  time  of  the
     issuance of the order, such lease must contain a provision authorizing the 
     collection  of  an  increase  pursuant  to  a  DHCR  order.   The  owner's
     violation  of  this  provision  could  result   in   a   rent   overcharge
     determination. 

     As to the owner's contention that  certain  of  the  petitions  should  be
     dismissed based on the holdings in ART 2533-K and ART 04527-K, the 
     Commissioner finds those two cases distinguishable from the case  at  hand
     and the relief sought by the owner to be inappropriate.







          DOCKET NUMBER: FC 210136-RT; et.al.
     The two cited cases appear to have involved one petition filed by a tenant 
     who had not objected to  the  application.   Here  there  are  thirty-nine
     petitions, at least  twenty-seven  of  which  are  filed  by  tenants  who
     answered, opposing the application, below.  Moreover, in addition  to  the
     those tenants who filed  individual  objections  below,  the  55  Winthrop
     Tenants Association, speaking on behalf of all of the tenants,  interposed
     its  answer  opposing  the  application.   Further,  in   light   of   the
     consolidation of these appeals and their remand,  the  owners  application
     is, for all intents and purposes, moot.

     On remand, in addition to the  alleged,  immediately  hazardous  condition
     which may have been created by water leaks, the Commissioner  directs  the
     Administrator's attention to a re-examination of the  tenants'  complaints
     of inadequate heat and hot water  and  the  tenants'  complaints  alleging
     defective windows and their improper installation.

     As to those service items which the tenants have  complained  of  in  this
     proceeding  but  as  to  which  the  Administrator's  attention  has   not
     specifically been directed on  remand  in  this  order,  the  Commissioner
     points out that this order is issued without  prejudice  to  the  tenants'
     filing applications with the Division  for  rent  reductions  based  on  a
     decrease in services, if the facts so warrant.

     THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is

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

     ISSUED:







                                                                   
                                             ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy                   Commissioner
      
    

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