FD 130256 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
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                            DOCKET NO.: FD 130256 RO
                                                           
               Stratis Frantzis,               RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                               DOCKET NO.: DF 130154 OM
           
                                   PETITIONER               
          -----------------------------------X

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On April  22,  1991  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          March 29, 1991  by  the  Rent  Administrator,  92-31  Union  Hall
          Street, Jamaica, New York concerning housing accommodations known 
          as 95-05 41st Avenue, Elmhurst,  New  York,  various  apartments,
          wherein the Administrator denied  the  application  for  a  major
          capital improvement (MCI) rent increase.

          The owner commenced this proceeding on June 20, 1989 by  refiling
          an application for a  rent  increase  based  upon  the  following
          claimed improvements: apartment  windows,  pointing/waterproofing
          and painting and wallpaper.

          Various tenants answered the application one  of  whom  indicated
          that the owner was  charging  an  increase  for  the  windows  in
          question  despite  the  fact  that  no  increase  had  yet   been
          authorized. The owner advised the Administrator on March 20, 1991 
          that some tenants were  paying  for  the  windows  of  their  own
          volition since they did  not  wish  to  be  burdened  with  large
          retroactive rent increases; and that when the  order  is  granted
          "all the necessary monetary calculations will be made with  these
          tenants".  Submitted were copies of letters from tenants (3)  who
          had paid for the windows.

          The  Administrator's   order,   appealed   herein,   denied   the
          application  upon  a  finding  that  the  owner  had   improperly
          solicited and collected rent increases for some of  the  work  in
          question without prior approval by the DHCR.

          In this  petition  the  owner  reiterates,  in  substance,  prior
          allegations to the effect that some tenants  not  wishing  to  be
          burdened by large retroactive rent increases and,  through  their
          own volition, paid the increase without his solicitation; that at 
          no time was any increase imposed on the  tenants;  and  that  "if
          there was proof from the  DHCR  that  I,  as  the  landlord,  had
          solicited monies for the MCI from the tenants, I could understand 
          the MCI order be denied."  The owner further indicated  that  all
          monies paid by the tenants were deducted  from  their  rents  and
          presented statements from tenants as proof thereof.  

          After  a  careful  consideration  of  the  entire   record,   the






          FD 130256 RO
          Commissioner is of the  opinion  that  this  petition  should  be
          denied.

          Historically, the right of an owner  to  collect  rent  increases
          predicated on work of  a  building-wide  nature,  such  as  major
          capital improvements of the type involved herein, requires  prior
          approval by the administrative agency.   Section  2202.1  of  the
          Rent and Eviction Regulation for  New  York  City  provides  that
          maximum rents may be increased or decreased only by order of  the
          Administrator.  Section 2522.4 of the current Rent  Stabilization
          Code (5/87) (as  well  as  the  former  Code)  provides  that  an
          application must be filed by the owner and by clear  implication,
          approval by the Division must be received prior to the imposition 
          of a rent increase, thereunder.

          A review of the record shows that by letter  dated  September  5,
          1989, written on an attorney's letterhead, and addressed  to  the
          tenants of the subject premises, the  owner  stated  that  "as  a
          result of the installation of new windows in your apartment,  the
          rent shall  be  increased,"  setting  forth  the  dollar  amount,
          "effective October 1, 1989" together with  the  newly  calculated
          rent amount.  While statements from tenants regarding  subsequent
          adjustment of their rents were provided by the owner, it  appears
          from at least one tenant's statement, as well as the owner's  own
          statement submitted in the proceeding below, that not all tenants 
          were accorded a credit or adjustment in their rents as claimed.  

          Since the record clearly indicates that the owner both  solicited
          and collected rent increases from at least some  of  the  tenants
          for the windows in question,  without  prior  DHCR  approval,  in
          contravention of the express  provisions  of  the  rent  law  and
          regulations,   the  Commissioner  finds  that  the  Administrator
          correctly denied the owner's MCI application.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with  the  Rent  Stabilization  Law  and
          Code, and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it 
          is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  denied;
          and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the  same  hereby
          is, affirmed.

          ISSUED:
           
                                                       JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                       Deputy Commissioner




    

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