FC 430039-RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          ----------------------------------x     S.J.R. No.: 5955
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:   
                                                  FC              430039-RO
                   VIVIAN RINDICK            
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                                  ZCA 430154-OM
                                  PETITIONER      TENANTS: VARIOUS

                                  TO ADMINISTRATOR

          On March 5, 1991, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a  Peti-
          tion for Administrative Review  against  an  order  of  the  Rent
          Administrator issued on February 14, 1991.  The  order  concerned
          housing accommodations located at 20 Clinton Street, New York, 
          New York.  The Administrator granted, in part, an application for 
          rent increase due to installations of major capital  improvements

          The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully considered 
          that portion relevant to the issues raised by this appeal.  

          This proceeding was commenced on January 25, 1988 by  the  former
          owner, Marathon Properties Inc. who filed an application for rent 
          increase by reason of the installation of major capital  improve-
          ments.  The improvements were - installation of new  windows,  an
          intercom system, a new roof and waterproofing at a total cost  of

          The tenants were served  with  a  copy  of  the  application  and
          afforded an opportunity to comment thereon.

          Various tenants responded objecting to the  rent  increase.   The
          tenants alleged that the  intercom  system  was  not  functioning
          properly and that the windows were not properly installed.

          The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of  the  premises
          which was conducted January 16, 1991.  The inspector  found  that
          the intercom was functioning in  four  of  the  seven  apartments
          whose tenants filed objections.  The  remaining  three  were  not
          home.  A follow-up inspection, conducted  on  January  28,  1991,
          also found the three remaining tenants to be away from home.  One 
          of those three tenants  had  complained  additionally,  that  his
          windows were improperly installed.

          FC 430039-RO
          The Administrator made the following rulings with regard  to  the
          application:  The waterproofing was denied as not constituting an 
          MCI.  The windows were deemed a "piece meal" installation between 
          1985 and 1990 and also denied in total.  The  intercom  and  roof
          were granted for rent controlled tenants but not rent  stabilized
          ones.  The Administrator stated that the  owner  failed  to  file
          the application within two years from the completion date of  the

          Pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Code (See: 9 NYCRR 2522.4)  an
          application must be filed within two years  after  completion  of
          the installation in order to qualify for a rent increase.  

          The successor owner filed an appeal of the above described  order
          as it pertains to the roof,  windows  and  intercom.   The  owner
          argued that the intercom system and roof were completed less than 
          two years before the application was filed.  The owner also  took
          issue with the Administrator's  characterization  of  the  window
          installation as "piece meal".  Petitioner made  reference  to  an
          earlier letter it sent to the Administrator wherein it sought  to
          explain the reason for the fact that 22 out of  the  403  windows
          were installed at a later date.  That letter, dated November  28,
          1990, stated the reasons as follows:

               Ten of t e  windows  (all  bathroom  windows)  were  re-
               ordered and installed by  Ecker.   Ecker  had  left  the
               original windows in the basement to be  installed  at  a
               later date, never returned, and the windows we e  subse-
               quently damaged beyond repair in a flood.  We then  paid
               for  the  replacements  (invoice  and  cancelled  checks
               enclosed).  Ten more windows  were  for  apartment  4-E,
               then and still occupied by an elderly woman,  who  until
               earlier this year would only allow access  in  cases  of
               extreme emergency.  We have since gained her trust,  and
               all the windows  were  replaced  by  County  Engineering
               (cancelled checks enclosed).  The last two windows  were
               still intact in the basement, and when the tenant in 

               Apartment 5-D  moved  out  (the  tenant  was  using  the
               apartment as a photography studio, and the windows  were
               in the "dark room" and covered with plywood) t e  Super-
               intendent installed the windows. 

          Petitioner concluded the appeal by stating that it is  imperative
          for the continued operation of the building that the order  under
          review be modified to grant the increases denied by t e  Adminis-

          Three tenants responded to the petition.  Of the  three  one  did
          not respond before the Administrator (Apartment 6-F), one did but 
          raised no specific objection to the quality of the  installations
          (Apartment 4-F) and the third, who  also  replied  below,  merely
          states now for the first time on appeal  that  the  installations
          were only done to comply with a court order.  

          After a careful  review  of  the  evidence  in  the  record,  the

          FC 430039-RO
          Commissioner is of the  opinion  that  this  proceeding  must  be
          remanded to the Administrator for further processing.

          The record under review indicates that the Administrator's denial 
          of rent increases for the roof and intercom for  rent  stabilized
          tenants was based on  the  fact  that  the  contractors  involved
          failed to sign the  portion  of  the  application  verifying  the
          completion dates of the installations.  Instead, the former owner 
          submitted affidavits detailing cost  information  and  completion
          dates.  Bills and cancelled checks were  appended  thereto.   The
          Administrator relied on this information to grant and  compute  a
          rent increase for rent controlled tenants, who are not subject to 
          the "two year" rule.  Based on the Commissioner's  study  of  the
          record as it was presented and available  to  the  Administrator,
          the Commissioner  finds  that  the  Administrator  erred  in  not
          accepting the part of the former owner's  affidavit  stating  the
          completion dates  of  the  installations.   If  the  contractors'
          affidavits are sufficient evidence to establish the cost  of  the
          installations and amount paid then it should also  be  sufficient
          to establish the dates of completion.

          The  Commissioner  finds  nothing  in  the   owner's   statements
          regarding completion dates to be prima facie unreliable and there 
          are no contradictory assertions or evidence from the tenants dis 
          proving the dates  indicated  by  the  owner.   Accordingly,  the
          Commissioner finds that it was error  for  the  Administrator  to
          deny the owner a rent increase for the roof and the intercom. 

          It is the established position of the Division that  the  instal-
          lation of new thermal replacement  windows  constitutes  a  major
          capital improvement for which a rent increase adjustment  may  be
          warranted.  Piecemeal repairs or replacements do not qualify as a 
          major capital improvement. In determining whether an installation 
          is piece meal, it is necessary to  take  into  consideration  all
          factors bearing on the equities, including the size of  the  sub-
          ject premises, the percent of time involved, and the reasons  put
          forth by the owner as to why the entire  installation  could  not
          have been done at one time (Accord: ARL 12446-K).

          In this proceeding the former owner replaced all but  22  of  the
          403 windows.   Petitioner  subsequently  replaced  those  22  and
          offered satisfactory explanations as to why  the  entire  instal-
          lation could not be completed at the same time.

          Accordingly, this proceeding is being  remanded  solely  for  the
          purpose of computing and ordering the appropriate  rent  increase
          for the installation of the roof, intercom, and windows.  

          The decision herein does not prejudice the tenants rights as they 
          pertain to filing  applications  for  rent  reductions  with  the
          appropriate  DHCR  unit  by  reason  of  decreased  apartment  or
          building-wide services.

          THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent and Eviction Regulations and  the

          FC 430039-RO
          Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is 

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  granted
          to the extent of remanding this proceeding to the  Rent  Adminis-
          trator for further processing  consistent  with  this  order  and


                                                ELLIOT SANDER
                                                Deputy Commissioner


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