FK 510314-RT; et al.   (16 dockets)


                                  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
          APPEALS OF                              DOCKET NOS.:   
                                                  FK 510314-RT   FK 510319-RT 
                                                  FK 520318-RT   FK 510321-RT 
                                                  FK 520320-RT   FK 510322-RT 
                   VARIOUS TENANTS OF     FK 510323-RT   FK 510324-RT 
                   565 WEST 144TH STREET,     FK 510327-RT   FK 520325-RT 
                                                  FK 510315-RT   FK 510326-RT 
                                                  FK 510316-RT   FK 520382-RT 
                                                  FK 520317-RT   FK 510329-RT

                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                  PETITIONERS     CH 530126-OM             
          -----------------------------------x    


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


          The Commissioner has consolidated these petitions as they involve 
          common questions of law and fact.

          Sixteen tenants filed timely petitions for administrative  review
          of an order issued on November 1, 1991, by a  Rent  Administrator
          concerning the building known as 565 West 144th Street, New York, 
          New York, wherein the  Rent  Administrator  determined  that  the
          owner was entitled to a rent increase based on 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 petition for review.

          The owner commenced this proceeding On August 17, 1988 by  filing
          an application  for  a  rent  increase  based  on  major  capital
          improvements, to wit apartment windows, boiler/burner, new  roof,
          and mailboxes at a total cost of $97,005.00.


          On January 12, 1989, the Division of Housi g  and  Community  Re-
          newal (DHCR) served each tenant with a copy  of  the  application
          and afforded the tenants the opportunity to review it and comment 
          thereupon.

          Eleven of the petitioning tenants did not file any objections  to
          the owner's application although afforded the opportunity  to  do
          so.








          FK 510314-RT; et al.   (16 dockets)
          Five of the petitioning tenants responded to the owner's applica 
          tion objecting to the increase and alleging inadequate  heat  and
          hot water.  On July 25, 1991 the owner  was  notified  about  the
          tenants' allegations.  On  August  20,  1991  the  owner  replied
          claiming that there was no problem with the supply  of  heat  and
          hot water.  On August 20, 1991  the  complainants  were  notified
          about the  owner's  claim.   On  September  9,  1991  one  tenant
          (Apartment 2-C) responded and reaffirmed the supply of hot  water
          as inadequate.  On October 8, 1991 the supply  of  hot  water  in
          the Apartment 2-C was inspected and found adequate.

          On November 1, 1991, the Rent Administrator issued the order here 
          under review finding that the installation qualified as  a  major
          capital improvement, determining that  the  application  complied
          with the relevant laws and regulations based upon the  supporting
          documentation submitted by the owner,  and  allowing  appropriate
          rent  increases  for  rent   controlled   and   rent   stabilized
          apartments.  No increase was granted based on the installation of 
          new mail-boxes.

          In their petitions for administrative review, the tenants request 
          modification or reversal of the Rent  Administrator's  order  and
          allege in substance that the installations were regul r  mainten-
          ance rather than improvements, that service problems exist in the 
          building, that they did not request the  improvements,  and  that
          the windows are of poor quality.

          After careful consideration the Commissioner is  of  the  opinion
          that these petitions should be denied.

          Rent increases for major capital improvements are  authorized  by
          Section 2202.4 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations for rent sta 
          bilized apartments.  Under rent control, an increase is warranted 
          where there has been since July 1, 1970 a major capital  improve-
          ment required for the operation, preservation, or maintenance  of
          the structure.  Under rent stabilization,  the  improvement  must
          generally  be  building-wide;  depreciable  under  the   Internal
          Revenue Code, other than for ordinary repairs; required for the 

          operation, preservation, and maintenance of  the  structure;  and
          replace an item whose useful life has expired.

          The Commissioner notes that eleven  of  the  sixteen  petitioning
          tenants failed to interpose any objections to the owner s  appli-
          cation  when  this  proceeding  was  pending  before   the   Rent
          Administrator even though they were afforded the  opportunity  to
          do so.  Accordingly, pursuant  to  Section  2529.6  of  the  Rent
          Stabilization Code the objections they raise now  for  the  first
          time on administrative appeal, may not be considered herein.

          The Commissioner further notes that the objections raised by  the
          five tenants who interposed answers were adequately  investigated
          by the Rent Administrator who found, based on an  inspection  and
          the entire record which was before him, that there was no impedi 
          ment to the approval of the owner's application.

          The Commissioner further notes  that  the  owner's  installations
          constitute capital improvements  not  maintenance  or  repair  as







          FK 510314-RT; et al.   (16 dockets)
          alleged by the tenants.  No tenant consent or request is required 
          for an owner to effectuate improvements to a property.   Problems
          with the windows' quality should  have  been  raised  during  the
          administrator's proceeding where investigations, corrections, and 
          adjustments could have been carried out and inspectorial  confir-
          mation ordered prior to the granting of any increase.

          This order  and  opinion  is  issued  without  prejudice  to  the
          tenant's  rights  to  file  complaints  based  on  overcharge,  a
          diminution of services, or inadequate heat and hot water  if  the
          facts so warrant. 


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

          ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, 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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