Docket Nos.: FF 610597-RT through FF 610607-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

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          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE    ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEALS OF                             DOCKET NOS.  FF  610597-RT
                                                     through FF 610607-RT
                                                
             VARIOUS TENANTS,                    DRO DOCKET NO. EK 630013-RK
                                                               (BI 630158-OM)
                                                 OWNER: Stanley Wasserman c/o
                                PETITIONERS               David Shurin
          ----------------------------------X                           
            
            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          The eleven Petition's determined herein are, pursuant  to  Section
          2529.1(c) of the Code, hereby consolidated.

          The petitioner tenants timely filed Petitions  for  Administrative
          Review against an order  issued  on  May  9,  1991,  by  the  Rent
          Administrator at Gertz Plaza, Jamaica, New  York,  concerning  the
          housing accommodations known as various apartments at 222  Bedford
          Park Blvd., Bronx, New York wherein the Administrator granted,  in
          part, the application of the owner to increase the  rentals  based
          on installation of Major Capital Improvements (MCI's).

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

          The owner commenced the proceeding below on September 10, 1987  by
          filing an application to increase the rentals for rent  controlled
          and stabilized apartments based on  MCI's  consisting  of  thermal
          replacement windows, a new heating plant,  a  new  roof  and  roof
          insulation, elevator improvements (including  a  new  controller),
          new doors in the public area and steam cleaning the building.  The 
          owner claimed costs of $79,180.00 for the new windows,  $42,000.00
          for a new heating plant, $11,000.00 for a new roof, $9,000.00  for
          roof insulation, $19,305.00 for elevator improvements, $795.60 for 
          new doors in the public area and $2,700.00 for steam cleaning.  In 
          the application the owner indicated that the building contains  62
          apartments.

          Approximately half of the tenants individually answered and  fifty
          tenants signed a joint answer, opposing the  owner's  application.
          In substance,  the  tenants  challenged  the  application  on  the
          grounds that the stated costs were excessive, the elevator did not 
          function properly (breaking down often and not leveling properly), 
          there were leaks in sixth (top) floor apartments  and  some  fifth
          floor apartments; the building was infested with vermin;  the  new
          windows are defective and were not properly installed;  the  front
          door of the building was not changed but a  flimsy  new  lock  and
          metal panel had been installed  leaving  the  lobby  an  unsecured
          area; the heat is  lowered  at  night  and  at  mid-day,  so  that
          apartments get "chilly"; steam cleaning was purely  cosmetic;  the






          Docket Nos.: FF 610597-RT through FF 610607-RT

          installation of the elevator door operator (for $3,360.00) was not 
          done in conjunction with the other elevator work and was work that 
          has been held by the CAB not to qualify for an  MCI;  the  roofing
          work does not qualify as an MCI; tenants who  move  in  after  the
          work was done should not have to pay the increase on top of  their
          original rent which included the cost of such  improvements.   The
          tenants also requested that an inspector be sent  to  examine  the
          alleged MCI installations.

          In reply to the tenants' answers the owner alleged, in  substance,
          that he believed that the installation of the elevator door opener 
          qualified for  an  MCI;  that  a  completely  new  roof  had  been
          installed with insulation in 1986.  The owner submitted  a  letter
          from the contractor which had done that work and later,  in  1990,
          had inspected the roof to find it  in  excellent  condition.   The
          owner submitted documentation to show that the elevator  had  been
          inspected and was shown to be in proper working order.  The  owner
          also produced evidence that indicated that  it  has  the  elevator
          regularly  serviced.   The  owner  also  submitted  letters   from
          thirteen tenants stating that the problems  they  had  experienced
          with the new windows had been corrected.  The  owner  denied  that
          the claimed costs were  excessive.   The  owner  claimed  that  it
          provided adequate heat and hot water.  The owner  stated  that  it
          did not install new entranceway doors and  had  not  made  an  MCI
          claim for such.  The owner asserted however that the  lobby  doors
          and locks were adequate to maintain  security.   The  owner  noted
          that it had  installed  a  new  roof  bulkhead  door  to  increase
          building security.  The owner also noted its installation of a new 
          fire-rated door from the  basement  to  the  backyard  to  further
          enhance security; and that these two  doors  were  the  new  doors
          referred to in its application.

          On May 7th and 8th of 1990,  a  member  of  the  Division's  staff
          inspected the subject building.  In that staff member's report, it 
          was noted that there was no evidence of water damage to the  fifth
          floor apartments examined, but there was evidence of  such  damage
          in a number of sixth floor apartments.  The report states that  no
          heat was required at the time of the inspection  as  the  exterior
          temperature was 64oF and that the  hot  water  appeared  adequate.
          The report confirmed the  installation  of  a  door  to  the  roof
          bulkhead and that the elevator was working properly.   The  report
          also confirmed the installation of the windows,  the  new  heating
          plant, and an additional layer of roofing materi l  (to  the  pre-
          existing roof), which had been further  patched  in  four  places.
          The report also indicated that the inspector could not examine the 
          elevator controller as he could not gain access to it.






          Docket Nos.: FF 610597-RT through FF 610607-RT

          On June 13, 1990, the Administrator issued an  order  wherein  the
          owner's application was granted in part, crediting the owner  with
          a rent increase based on the  full  stated  cost  of  the  thermal
          replacement  windows  ($79,180.00),  and  the  new  heating  plant
          ($42,000.00).  The owner was also granted the cost of the new roof 
          bulkhead door ($300.00).  The owner was denied its application  as
          to the cost of  installing  the  backyard  door  ($495.00),  steam
          cleaning the building ($2,700.00), the new roof  ($11,000.00)  and
          roof insulation ($19,000.00), the elevator controller and  related
          upgrading  ($15,945.00)  and  the  new  elevator   door   operator
          ($3,360.00).

          In a letter dated June 18, 1990, the owner asked the Administrator 
          to reopen and reconsider the order of June 13, 1990.

          The owner noted that the cost of the  new  roof  had  been  denied
          because the new roof consisted of only one ply of  roofing  cement
          and one ply of roofing paper whereas  new  DHCR  regulations  [set
          forth in Policy Statement 90-6 which was issued in March of  1990]
          had required a new roof to be three ply in order to qualify for an 
          MCI.   The  owner  asserted  that  it  was  inequitable  for   the
          Administrator to deny the increase based on a new rule as to which 
          owners had not had an adequate opportunity to  adapt.   The  owner
          further asserted that regardless of whether an  MCI  increase  for
          the roof was granted, the cost of insulating the roof should  have
          been granted. The owner further noted that the elevator  upgrading
          had been denied because of the fact that it  had  not  been  shown
          that a new selector had been installed.  The owner  asserted  that
          in fact a selector had been installed  with  the  new  controller,
          that this is usually the case in any new  controller  installation
          and that the owner had not specifically  been  asked  whether  the
          installation of the new controller included the installation of  a
          new selector.

          On November  26,  1990,  the  Administrator  issued  a  Notice  of
          Commencement of Proceeding to Reconsider  Previous  Order  stating
          therein that the order of June 13, 1990 was being reopened so that 
          the Administrator could consider  whether  an  error  in  a  vital
          matter had been committed in the denial of the owner's application 
          insofar as it pertained to the elevator upgrading,  the  new  roof
          and the  roof  insulation.   By  said  notice,  the  tenants  were
          afforded an opportunity to file an answer as  to  the  issues  the
          Administrator proposed to reconsider. 

          Thirteen individual tenants filed  answers.   In  substance  these
          tenants alleged that there were still leaks on the 6th floor;  the
          elevator often broke down and it often did  not  stop  level  with
          the floor; the elevator floor had a hole in it and the lighting in 
          the elevator was inadequate; the halls of the  building  were  not
          clean;  lighting  over  the  entranceway  of  the   building   was
          inadequate; the electricity in the building often blows  out;  the
          mailboxes are in poor condition; the new roof and insulation for 






          Docket Nos.: FF 610597-RT through FF 610607-RT

          the roof are maintenance and the cost thereof should be  borne  by
          the owner; although the elevator had a floor indicator before  the
          new controller was installed, now there is no  device  that  tells
          the passengers what floor they have arrived at - there is, simply, 
          an arrow that indicates whether the car is traveling up  or  down;
          and the new roof looks like it could be merely a patch job.

          In response to these allegations the owner  submitted  documentary
          evidence to show that the  elevator  had  been  checked  by  three
          elevator companies and found to be in good working order; that the 
          lighting in the elevator has been replaced and the elevator  floor
          repaired; and that the roof is in good condition  but  that  water
          does enter the building through gaps in  the  masonry  around  the
          parapet wall and the exterior walls below the parapet.  The  owner
          also produced evidence to show that it had contracted to have said 
          masonry problem corrected.  The owner alleged that it had repaired 
          the exterior lighting problem; and that it had  made  arrangements
          to have the water damage in apartment 6D repaired.  The owner also 
          produced evidence to show that it was  installing  new  mailboxes.
          Further,  the  owner  asserted  that  roof  patching  had   become
          necessary because of the damage  to  the  roof  caused  by  tenant
          installed T.V. antennae.  The owner also noted that new  courtyard
          lighting had been installed.  

          On May 9, 1991, the Administrator issued an order of  modification
          and a modified  order  herein,  wherein  it  added  to  the  costs
          previously allowed $9,000.00 for roof insulation, $11,000.00 for a 
          new roof  and  $15,945.00  for  installation  of  a  new  elevator
          controller and selector and for related elevator  upgrading.   The
          modified order continued the previous exclusion  of  the  cost  of
          steam cleaning ($2,700.00), the installation  of  a  new  elevator
          door operator ($3,360.00), and  the  cost  of  the  backyard  door
          ($495.60).

          In their Petitions, the tenants assert,  in  substance,  that  the
          elevator continues to malfunction; the door buzzer breaks down and 
          the new intercom  is  inaudible;  the  electrical  system  in  the
          building continues to cause  fuses  to  blow  and  leaves  tenants
          without electricity; the building is not exterminated and  rodents
          and roaches run through the  hallway;  the  owner  has  rented  an
          apartment to an herbalist whose practice (she  identifies  herself
          to her customers as a physician) has compromised the  security  of
          the building and the tenants'  quiet  enjoyment  of  their  leased
          housing accommodations since the "patients" begin congregating  in
          the lobby at 6 A.M., disturb other tenants, pound on  their  doors
          and enter their apartments.   The  Petitioners  assert  that  this
          renting to the herbalist is not correct in a residential building. 
          The tenants also allege that there is a bad smell in the elevator; 
          that tenants below the sixth floor should not have to pay for roof 
          insulation and the floor indicator was wrongfully taken away  when
          the new controller was put in; there is inadequate hot water;  and
          trash is allowed to accumulate in the backyard.






          Docket Nos.: FF 610597-RT through FF 610607-RT

          Although afforded the opportunity, the owner has not interposed an 
          answer to the tenants' Petitions.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that the  Petitions  should  be
          denied. 

          A review of the record reveals that the owner properly  filed  the
          MCI application in the proceeding below, and  no  showing  to  the
          contrary has been made by the  petitioners.   The  record  in  the
          proceeding below and on these appeals  discloses  that  the  owner
          substantiated  its  MCI   application   by   submitting   to   the
          Administrator  documentation  in  support  of   the   application,
          including  copies  of  contracts,   contractors'   certifications,
          specifications, and cancelled checks for the work herein.

          The Commissioner finds that the petitioners' contentions  are  not
          sufficient to establish that the Administrator  erred  in  issuing
          the order  appealed  herein.   The  Commissioner  finds  that  the
          Administrator gave due consideration to the various issues  raised
          below; as an example of that,  the  Commissioner  notes  that  the
          Administrator disallowed the entire  cost  of  the  elevator  door
          opener.   Moreover,  the  Division  has  long  held,  as  did  its
          predecessor,  the  Conciliation  and  Appeals  Board,   that   the
          installation of a new elevator controller and selector and related 
          upgrading constitutes an MCI.  The Commissioner finds  that  based
          on the record below, the changeover from a floor indicator  to  an
          arrow indicating the direction of the cab's  movement,  does  not,
          in and of itself, warrant the disallowance of the cost of the  new
          controller from the MCI increase granted herein. 

          Likewise the Commissioner finds that  the  Administrator  did  not
          err in granting an increase based on the cost of the new roof  and
          its insulation.  As to the evidence of water  damage  on  the  6th
          floor found subsequent to the installation of the  new  roof,  the
          Commissioner finds that the owner has established that said damage 
          was caused by the penetration of  water  through  defects  in  the
          masonry of the upper  portion  of  the  exterior  brick  wall  and
          parapet of the  building.   The  Commissioner  notes  the  owner's
          submission of the favorable reports as to  the  condition  of  the
          roof by Triboro Insulating and Roofing Co., Gloryall  Roofing  and
          Sheet Metal Works, Inc. and Vacca  Bros.  Contractors,  Inc.   The
          Commissioner also notes that Vacca  Bros's  observation  that  the
          water was penetrating through the exterior wall (and not the roof) 
          was somewhat corroborated  by  the  statement  of  the  tenant  of
          apartment 6D, Agatha Priano, who said that she did  "not  know  if
          the roof was correctly repaired.   Exterior  building  wall  still
          leaks on stormy days."  Further, the Commissioner notes  that  the
          owner  appears  to  have  taken  steps  to  remedy  these  masonry
          problems.

          The Commissioner further finds that it was  appropriate  to  grant
          an increase for the roof where the new roof had been installed 






          Docket Nos.: FF 610597-RT through FF 610607-RT

          several years before the issuance of Policy Statement 90-6  (which
          was later modified by Policy Statement 91-2), at a time when a one 
          ply roof would have  provided  the  basis  for  an  MCI  increase.
          [Accord: EG 930369-RT]

          Based on the entire evidence of  record,  the  Commissioner  finds
          that the Administrator was not in error, and the order  should  be
          affirmed.

          The Commissioner notes that  this  order  and  opinion  is  issued
          without prejudice to the  tenants  filing  an  application  for  a
          decrease in  rent based on a decrease in services, if the facts so 
          warrant.

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

          ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, denied, 
          and that the District Rent Administrator's order be, and the  same
          hereby is, affirmed.

          ISSUED:



                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner
    

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