STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NOS.: GB 610449-RT
: GB 610453-RT
VARIOUS TENANTS FL 620109-RT
------------------------------------X RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
DOCKET NO.: EA 630143-OM
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On various dates the above-named petitioners-tenants filed and timely
refiled Petitions for Administrative Review against an order issued on
November 25, 1991 by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street,
Jamaica, New York concerning housing accommodations known as 1610 Mahan
Avenue, Bronx, New York, various apartments, wherein the Administrator
granted the owner's application for an increase in rents based on the
installation of a boiler/burner and asbestos removal performed in
The owner commenced the proceeding below by filing its major capital
improvement (MCI) application with this Division on January 19, 1990. The
tenants were served with notice of the application by the Division and
offered an opportunity to examine and comment on same. In response
thereto four (out of 54) tenants filed answers to the application alleging
that heat and hot water service was inadequate. In addition, various
elderly tenants commented on the strain the requested rent increase would
place on their limited resources.
The order of the Administrator appealed herein was issued after a
physical inspection disclosed that three of the four tenants who
questioned the adequacy of the new heating system either withdrew their
complaint or hot water was found to be adequate at the time of physical
inspection. As to the 4th apartment (3-B), while the inspector noted that
hot water was below acceptable levels the tenant thereof failed to respond
to a subsequent notice from the Division regarding the owner's advisement
that services were being provided.
In their respective petitions the tenants contend, in substance, that (a)
heat and hot water is not provided on a regular basis, (b) the rent
increase imposes an hardship due to their limited resources and (c) the
room count as stated in the order is understated.
In addition, the tenant of apartment 6-C contends, in substance, that the
owner sought to collect immediately rent arrears stemming from the
The tenant in apartment 3-B alleges that reference to the October 15, 1991
inquiry concerning the adequacy of the hot water service is incorrect
since he never received same.
DOCKET NUMBER: GB 610449-RT; et.al
After a careful consideration of the entire record, the Commissioner is of
the opinion that these administrative appeals should be denied.
The record discloses that the owner substantiated its application based on
a new heating system by the submission of contracts, contractor's
certification, cancelled checks together with all requisite approvals and
sign-offs by the governmental agency having jurisdiction thereof.
The tenants' unsubstantiated allegations concerning the adequacy of heat
and hot water service since the installation of the new equipment are not
supported by the record and, in any event, relate to the quality of the
service as opposed to the malfunctioning of the heating equipment. Should
the owner fail to provide services as required, the tenants' recourse
lies in their filing an appropriate service complaint and any penalty
which may be imposed as a result thereof.
In this regard the records of the Division disclose that there were no
heat or hot water complaints pending nor was there a rent reduction order
in effect based on the owner's failure to maintain service of a building-
wide nature at the time the order appealed herein was issued.
The Commissioner notes that the tenants' contention regarding room count
was not raised before the Administrator and therefore cannot be considered
at the Administrative appeal level. The Commissioner further notes that
the room count utilized by the Administrator did not include half rooms
and the owner is cautioned that it may not charge the tenants based on a
room count in excess of that stated in the application.
The unsubstantiated allegation raised by the tenant of apartment 6-C
regarding the owner's attempt to collect immediately rent arrears stemming
from the major capital improvement may give rise to a complaint of rent
overcharge but is irrelevant to the propriety of the Administrator's
While certain tenants may experience difficulty in paying a rent
increase, the Commissioner is constrained to find that this does not
constitute a bar to the owner's entitlement to collect the major capital
improvement rent increase found warranted by the Administrator. The
Commissioner notes, however, that as to certain tenant's who may have
valid Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption orders, the rent increase
provided for in the Administrator's order may not be collected to the
extent it would cause their rent to exceed 1/3 of their monthly disposable
On the basis of the entire evidence of record, it is found that the
Administrator's order is correct and should be affirmed.
DOCKET NUMBER: GB 610449-RT; et.al
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and the
Rent and Eviction Regulations of the City of New York, it is
ORDERED, that these petitions be and the same hereby are denied and the
Administrator's order be and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner