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

          ------------------------------------X  S.J.R. NO. 5871 
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET  NO.  FC  730327-RO
                                                 DISTRICT RENT ORDER 
               FLOWERVIEW APT. ASSOCIATES         DOCKET  NO.  EB-71-0037-OM
               C/O              MARTIN              A.              SHLUFMAN
                                 PETITIONER   :  


               On March 28,  1991  the  above-named  petitioner-sponsor  and
          holder of unsold shares filed a Petition for Administrative Review 
          against  an  order  issued  on  February  22,  1991  by  the  Rent
          Administrator, 50 Clinton Street,  Hempstead,  NY  concerning  the
          cooperatively  owned   housing   complex   known   as   Flowerview
          Apartments, 5 Adelaide  Street,  55  Tulip  Avenue  and  91  Tulip
          Avenue, Floral Park, New York,  various  apartments,  wherein  the
          Administrator authorized a major capital improvement rent increase 
          for the installation of 25 new roofs ($255,  375.00).   Disallowed
          by    the    Administrator     was     a     claimed     $5,000.00
          supervision/consultant   fee   with   respect   to   the   roofing
          installation and a claimed expenditure  of  $36,000.00  for  three
          master T.V. antennae.  

               Thereafter  the  landlord  herein  commenced   a   proceeding
          pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, having 
          deemed its petition denied by operation of law.  This resulted  in
          a court ordered  stipulation  remanding  this  proceeding  to  the
          Division for further consideration.    

               In its petition for administrative review the landlord herein 
          contends, in substance, that the fee expended  to  the  consulting
          firm to oversee the installation of the new roofs should have been 
          recognized  as  an  expense  in  computing   the   major   capital
          improvement increase allowed therefor due  to  the  scope  of  the
          project, urging that such fee is no different from an  engineering
          fee "allowed by DHCR" in connection with  heating  and  hot  water
          systems where the  nature  of  such  installation  justified  such
          consultation.  The landlord further contends that it was error  to
          have disallowed the expense for master T.V. antennae as they  meet
          the definition of a major  capital  improvement  since  to  permit
          tenants to reinstall their roof antennae might result in damage to 
          the roof membrane, thus voiding the manufacturer's warranty; and 

          that such installation would also fall within the definition of a
          "cosmetic improvement" performed in connection with  a  qualifying

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. FC 730327-RO
          major capital improvement (roof) as authorized  under  Operational
          Bulletin 84-4.    

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

               With  respect  to  the  petitioner's  contention   that   the
          consultation fee paid to "Construction Unlimited"  was  improperly
          disallowed,  the  Commissioner  notes   that   a   major   capital
          improvement of this type is relatively commonplace and a  landlord
          is presumed to have  sufficient  knowledge  to  select  a  roofing
          contractor of a known and sufficient capability to ensure that  it
          will receive a quality installation adequate to meet the needs  of
          the premises to be supplied.  It is the  established  position  of
          the Division that a "consultant fee" normally does not qualify  as
          an allowable major capital improvement expense.  Contrary  to  the
          assertion on appeal, the Commissioner has not authorized  a  major
          capital improvement rent increase for consultant/engineering  fees
          in connection  with  heating  installations  or  otherwise  albeit
          owners  have  been  afforded  the  opportunity  to  establish  the
          necessity for the claimed expenditure.  

               Turning to the case at hand, the record  discloses  that  the
          cooperative corporation engage a licensed  roofing  contractor  to
          reroof 25 buildings  in  a  five  phase  project.   Said  contract
          provides that the contractor "shall not  commence  any  subsequent
          Phase nor receive payment for any prior Phase,  unless  and  until
          (ii) manufacturer's representative [as opposed to an owner's rep- 
          resentative] performs  a  satisfactory  inspection  of  the  phase
          completed".  Upon completion of the installation a "Manufacturer's 
          twelve (12) year material and labor warranty will be  supplied  by
          the Contractor."  The petitioner has not shown that  the  services
          of the owner's consultant were at all  a  necessary  and  integral
          part of the installation, particularly in light of  the  terms  of
          the contract under which the work was performed.  The Commissioner 
          finds  that  the  Administrator  properly  excluded  the   claimed
          consultant expense from the calculation.  

               With regard to the petitioner's contention that it was  error
          to have disallowed the cost of installing master TV antennae  (3),
          the  Commissioner  notes  that  a  television  antenna  does   not
          constitute an improvement required for the operation, preservation 
          or maintenance of the premises nor  is  it  an  improvement  which
          inures to the benefit of all tenants since it is  undisputed  that
          many tenants use indoor antennae or have cable service.  

               While  the  petitioner/sponsor  alleges  that  many   tenants
          installed  roof  antennae  in   contravention   of   their   lease
          agreements; and that the reinstallation of  same  by  the  tenants
          might result in "possible" damage to  the  roof  membrane,  it  is
          undisputed that said roof antennae were previously installed 

          openly and notoriously; and that the petitioner herein, as 
          landlord of the premises, took no steps  to  enforce  the  alleged
          lease prohibition.  The Commissioner is of the opinion that  where
          such antennae are installed with the landlord's express or implied 
          consent,  and   where   such   antennae   are   removed   by   the

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. FC 730327-RO
          landlord/property owner to perform repairs or other exterior  work
          such as the installation of new roofs, that the  landlord,  rather
          than  the  individual  tenant,   remains   responsible   for   the
          reinstallation of same in a workmanlike manner.       

               Tenants who formerly had the benefit of obtaining adequate TV 
          reception by installing their own TV antennae may not be  deprived
          of this service.  The landlord was obligated to  either  reinstall
          such TV antennae or provide an adequate equivalent  service,  such
          as Master TV antenna made available to the tenants free of charge. 
          The failure to do so would constitute a decrease in service so  as
          to justify an appropriate penalty (BH 630115-RO; C.I.  7-1-0012  S
          issued with respect to the subject premises).      

               Regarding  the  landlord's  contention  that  the  master  TV
          antennae  were  installed  contemporaneously  with   the   roofing
          installation  and  fall  within  the  definition  of  a  "cosmetic
          improvement"  for  which  a  rent  increase  should  be   allowed,
          Operational Bulletin 84-4 specifically requires that the work must 
          be directly related to and be completed within six months  of  the
          qualifying major capital improvement.  The record  discloses  that
          the roofing installation herein  was  completed  in  late  October
          1988; and that work on the master TV  antennae  did  not  commence
          until May 25, 1989 and was not completed until seven months later. 
          On that basis alone the work in  question  fails  to  satisfy  the
          requirements for a rent increase under Operational Bulletin 84-4. 

               THEREFORE,  in  accordance  with  the   provisions   of   the
          Emergency Tenant Protection Act and Regulations, 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. 


                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner


          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. FC 730327-RO


TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name