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
APPEALS OF DOCKET NOS.:
: GD 610138-RO; GE 610283-RT
H & H EQUITIES, OWNER, AND GD 610264-RT; GD 610262-RT
VARIOUS TENANTS OF 185 McCLELLAN GD 610263-RT; GD 610319-RT
STREET, BRONX, NY, PETITIONERS : GD 610320-RT; GD 610321-RT
------------------------------------X GD 610322-RT; GD 610323-RT
GD 610324-RT; GD 610325-RT
GD 610326-RT; GD 610327-RT
GD 610254-RT; GD 610255-RT
GD 610256-RT; GD 610257-RT
GD 610258-RT; GD 610260-RT
GD 610261-RT; GD 610252-RT
GE 610191-RT; GD 610265-RT
GE 610155-RT; GD 610266-RT
GD 610267-RT; GD 610268-RT
DOCKET NO.: CJ 630085-OM
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named petitioners timely filed Petitions for Administrative
Review against an order issued on March 19, 1992 by the Rent Administrator,
(Gertz Plaza) concerning housing accommodations known as 185 McClellan
Street, Bronx, New York Various apartments, wherein the Administrator
granted, in part, the owner's application for major capital improvement
(MCI) rent increase.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence of record and has
carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the issues
raised by the administrative appeals.
The owner commenced this proceeding below by filing a major capital
improvement rent increase application seeking to increase the rents of
controlled and stabilized apartments based upon the installation of waste
compactor, compactor doors, iron fence, fuel computer, and entrance doors
at a total claimed cost of $47,266.84.
In response to the owner's application, the tenants alleged, in substance,
that the newly installed entrance doors are defective and are not kept
locked; that the compactor rooms are not kept clean and suffer from a
substantial infestation of rodents and cockroaches; that said compactor
rooms have opening in the walls.
The owner responded by submitting a letter stating that the entrance doors
are not defective and are kept clean and secure; that it installed a new
compactor; and that the compactor rooms have no openings in the walls.
DOCKET NUMBER: GD 610138-RT et al.
In response to inquiry by the Administrator the owner stated that the
previously installed vestibule door was vandalized and thus was replaced by
a new system in 1988.
The Rent Administrator's order appealed herein, stated that various tenants
had complained about the installation, but the owner in turn submitted a
statement denying the tenants' allegations; and that the tenants failed to
respond to a subsequent inquiry from this Division requesting them to
respond to the owner's statement. The Administrator's order partially
granted the owner's application and authorized MCI rent increases for waste
compactors. The order denied such portion of the application as pertained
to compactor doors, iron fence and fuel computer. The Administrator
disallowed the entire claimed cost ($6,000.00) of the entrance doors since
said item had not exhausted their useful life at the time of replacement
and a rent increase adjustment was previously granted for same in September
In their petitions the tenants (28) contend, in substance, that the waste
compactor is defective and inoperative; that daily garbage collecting is
not adequate; and that there is infestation of rodents throughout the
In response to the tenants' administrative appeals, the owner submitted
answers stating, in substance, that it installed three new compactors at
the subject premises; that the rodent infestation is due to the tenants
disposing their garbage in the hallways and in the compactor rooms.
In its petition the owner contends, in substance, that the prior entrance
door was vandalized and thus required total replacement; that the new
entrance doors were installed prior to the issuance of the Agency's useful
life schedule (Operational Bulletin 90-2), and thus it is entitled to a
rent increase adjustment for the installation of same.
In response to the owner's petition numerous tenants submitted statements
stating, in substance, that a rent increase adjustment was granted by the
Division for the entrance door system; and that said item is inoperative.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that both
the tenants' and owner's petitions should be denied.
Rent increases for major capital improvements are authorized by Section
2202.4 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations for rent controlled apartments
and Section 2522.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code for rent stabilized
apartments. Under rent control, an increase is warranted where there has
been since July 1, 1970 a major capital improvement 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. Piecemeal work or ordinary
repairs and maintenance does not constitute work for which a rent increase
adjustment is warranted under current and past procedure.
DOCKET NUMBER: GD 610138-RT et al.
The Commissioner notes that it has been the agency policy to prescribe
useful lives for MCI eligible installations and, in fact, Operational
Bulletin 90-2 sets forth already existing agency policy. The useful life
for lobby entrance doors is 15 years. The record reveals that on September
30, 1987 (Docket No. AG 630115-OM), the owner received an MCI rent increase
for the installation of entrance doors. The useful life of the prior
installation had clearly not expired. The owner failed to substantiate its
claim that the prior entrance door had been vandalized and was in such a
state of disrepair as to required total replacement, during course of the
proceeding below or on appeal. Thus, the Administrator correctly denied a
rent increase adjustment for same. The tenants' contentions with respect
to said doors are irrelevant since the entire claimed cost for said work
was properly disallowed by the Administrator.
As to the tenants' allegations pertaining to the condition of the waste
compactor, the Commissioner further notes that this issue is also being
raised for the first time on appeal and thus it should not be considered at
this stage of the proceeding. However, this order is issued without
prejudice to the tenants' filing applications with the Division for rent
reductions based on decrease in services if the facts so warrant.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and Eviction
Regulations for New York City and the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it
ORDERED, that these petitions be and the same hereby are, denied and that
the order of the Rent Administrator be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner