ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FF 110033 RT

                                  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.:               
                                                 FF 110033 RT 
                                              :
                                                 DRO ORDER NO.:           
                                                 CD 130044 OM               
                    CAROL COHEN
                                             
                                                  

                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X                             

            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                      AND REMANDING PROCEEDING TO ADMINISTRATOR

               On June 3, 1991 the above named petitioner  tenant  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of  the  Rent
          Administrator issued May 10, 1991.  The order  concerned  housing
          accommodations located at 47-25 40th Street, Sunnyside, New York. 
          Apartment No. 1F.  The Administrator granted in part, the owner's 
          application for rent increase based on the installation of  major
          capital improvements (MCI).

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

               The owner commenced this proceeding on  April  12,  1988  by
          filing  an  application  for  rent  increase  by  reason  of  the
          installation of major  capital  improvements.   The  improvements
          claimed by the owner were--elevator upgrading, intercom, new roof 
          and landscaping at a total cost of $31,875.01.   On  October  17,
          1988, the Administrator served all tenants with  a  copy  of  the
          application and afforded them an opportunity to respond. 

               Various tenants, of whom petitioner was  one,  did  respond.
          Petitioner stated that the roof work was beginning to buckle  and
          bubble and was generally performed in  an  unprofessional  manner
          and that the landscaping was deteriorating in that several of the 
          shrubs died and were not replaced.  The tenant also stated that 


          the new intercom used the same buzzer in the apartment for the 
          lobby and apartment door, making it impossible to know which door
          someone  was  ringing.   Finally,  the  tenant  stated  that  the
          elevator work was due to  years  of  neglect  and  it  "does  not
          operate in a manner which one can  feel  100%  safe  with."   The
          Commissioner  notes  that  34  other  tenants   filed   identical
          responses as well as three other  tenants  who  filed  individual
          responses.






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FF 110033 RT

               The  Administrator  notified  the  owner  of  the   tenants'
          responses by letters dated January 31, 1991 and  March  5,  1991.
          The owner was afforded an opportunity to respond and  did  so  on
          March 14, 1991.  The owner stated that all work  was  done  in  a
          professional manner, that security  bars  were  installed  in  an
          attempt to provide additional security  against  intruders,  that
          the landscaping was attended to by replacing any shrubs that  had
          died,  that  no  complaints  were  ever  received  regarding  the
          intercom and that the elevator was  overhauled  pursuant  to  the
          contract.  The Examiner's  notes  indicate  that  the  tenant  of
          Apartment 2A was contacted and given the opportunity  to  respond
          to the owner's statements.  No other responding tenant, including 
          the petitioner, was contacted.  The tenant of  Apartment  2A  did
          not respond.   

               On May 10, 1991 the Administrator issued the order  appealed
          from.  The amounts  for  the  roof  were  granted  in  full,  the
          elevator costs were  approved  except  for  $205  representing  a
          filing fee, the intercom costs were approved except  for  $279.26
          representing sales tax, and the landscaping  was  denied  as  not
          qualifying for an MCI.  The total approved cost was  $28,035  for
          which the Administrator ordered appropriate  rent  increases  for
          rent controlled and rent stabilized tenants.  The Administrator's 
          order specifically stated that "Notices mailed to the complaining 
          tenants  on  March  21,  1991  failed  to  elicit   any   further
          responses."  

               On appeal the tenant states, inter alia, "notices that  were
          mailed March 21, 1991  were  never  received  by  tenants."   The
          tenant also stated that the elevator  and  intercom  malfunction.
          The owner filed a response stating that if the  tenants  did  not
          receive copies of the March 21 notice it was through no fault  of
          theirs.  The owner also stated that the  intercoms  and  elevator
          work properly. 

               After a careful review of the evidence  in  the  record  the
          Commissioner is of the  opinion  that  this  proceeding  must  be
          remanded to the Administrator for further processing.



               It is apparent from the record  that  only  one  tenant  was
          afforded the opportunity to respond  to  the  owner's  letter  of
          March 21, 1991.  None of the other 36 tenants were sent a copy of 
          this letter and allowed to comment.  As a result of this omission 
          by  the  Administrator,  it  cannot  be   determined   that   the
          improvements for which the rent increase was granted were done in 
          a workmanlike manner.  Accordingly,  the  Commissioner  deems  it
          necessary to remand this proceeding  to  reconsider  whether  the
          rent increase is warranted.  On remand, the Administrator  should
          afford  each  tenant  who  filed  a  response  to   the   owner's
          application the opportunity to see and  comment  on  the  owner's
          letter and ascertain, by a physical inspection if necessary, that 
          the improvements  were  properly  installed  and  that  the  rent
          increase is warranted. 

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






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FF 110033 RT

               ORDERED, that this proceeding be, and the  same  hereby  is,
          remanded to the Rent  Administrator  for  further  processing  in
          accordance with this  order  and  opinion.   The  Administrator's
          determination regarding the rent increase shall continue to be in 
          full force and effect until the Administrator issues a new  order
          on remand.

          ISSUED:





                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

    

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