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  S.J.R. NO.: 6389
      IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
      APPEALS OF                             DOCKET NOS.: FL430292RO
        ALFONS MELOHN, OWNER,             :               FL410409RT
                 &                                        GA420142RT
        VARIOUS TENANTS OF                                GA410461RT
        200 WEST 15TH STREET  PETITIONERS :               GB410374RT
      ------------------------------------X               GC410186RT
             
                                             RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S 
                                             DOCKET NO.: CF430129OM

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

      This order and opinion is issued pursuant to a decision of Justice Milton 
      Williams of the Supreme Court, New York County, remitting an Article 78 
      proceeding and directing the Division of Housing and Community Renewal 
      (DHCR) to issue a determination of the owner's administrative appeal 
      herein.

      These petitions are being consolidated herein since they involve common 
      issues of law and fact.

      The owner of the subject premises (located at 200 West 15th Street, New 
      York, New York, various apartments) initiated the proceeding below by 
      filing an application for major capital improvement (MCI) rent increases 
      for the controlled and stabilized apartments in the premises based on the 
      installation of a new compactor, adequate wiring, elevator upgrading, 
      pointing/waterproofing and new windows.

      In the order appealed herein, issued November 26, 1991, the Rent 
      Administrator granted a rent increase for all apartments based on the  
      adequate wiring and the elevator upgrade and granted a rent increase for 
      the compactor installation for the controlled apartments only.  The 
      Administrator disallowed a rent increase for the stabilized apartments for 
      the new compactor based upon the fact that the MCI application had not been 
      filed within 2 years from the completion date of the compactor 
      installation.  The Administrator further disallowed any rent increase for 
      the windows and the pointing/waterproofing based upon a determination that 
      the owner had failed to submit necessary evidence.

      In his petition the owner contends that the Administrator erroneously 
      disallowed a rent increase for the window installation because all of the 
      information requested with regard to said installation was submitted during 
      the proceeding below.  The owner includes a partial copy of said submission 
      with his administrative appeal.

      Two tenants responded to the owner's petition raising complaints about the 
      window installation.  One tenant raised complaints which were not relevant 
      to the owner's petition.








          DOCKET NUMBER: FL 430292-RO, et al.
      In their petitions the tenants contend, in substance, that the subject 
      installations constitute maintenance rather than improvements, and 
      therefore do not qualify for MCI rent increases, that the rewiring 
      (adequate wiring) work was never done or was only done in certain areas, 
      and that the rent increase is exorbitant.  Various tenants raise complaints 
      regarding the room counts indicated in the application, the window 
      installation and the elevator service.

      There is no indication in the record that the owner submitted a response to 
      the petitions.

      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 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.

      The record in the instant case, which includes copies of proposals, 
      contracts, contractors' certifications, governmental approvals and 
      cancelled checks for the elevator upgrade, the rewiring and the compactor, 
      indicates that the owner correctly complied with the applicable procedures 
      for a major capital improvement for said installations, and the 
      Administrator properly calculated the rent increase.  The tenants have not 
      established that the increase should be revoked.

      With regard to the owner's contention that the Administrator erroneously 
      disallowed a rent increase for the window installation, the record shows 
      that on August 5, 1991 the owner was directed to submit, along with 
      information regarding the other installations, the following information 
      regarding the window installation:

           - Contractor and/or vendor information, including contractor's
             certification (RA-79) Supplement I)

           - Proof that the useful life of the prior windows had expired

           - Proof to substantiate total claimed cost

           - an explanation why payments were made to 2 different entities
             (Salem Window Inc. and Tri State Window Outlet)

           - An explanation why one of the checks submitted for proof was
             payable to the owner

      The owner's response, dated September 30, 1991, did not include any of the 
      information requested regarding the window installation.

      Although the owner asserts in his petition that said information was 
      submitted during the proceeding below, the record fails to substantiate 


          DOCKET NUMBER: FL 430292-RO, et al.
      this claim.  It is further noted that the information submitted with the 
      petition consisting of two letters, dated October 17 and 23, 1991, in which 
      the owner responded to the information request, is incomplete in that 
      various affidavits allegedly offered as proof and referred to in the 
      letters were not included.  Therefore, based upon the owner's failure to 
      submit evidence needed to process the MCI application with respect to the 
      window installation, the Commissioner is of the opinion that a rent 
      increase was not warranted for said installation.

      With regard to the tenants' contention that the room counts indicated in 
      the application are not correct, the Commissioner notes that the owner may 
      not charge the tenants based on a greater number of legal rooms for MCI 
      purposes.  This order is issued without prejudice to the tenants filing  
      complaints with this Division based on a rent overcharge, if the facts so 
      warrant.

      With regard to the tenants' contention that the elevator service is not 
      adequate, the Commissioner notes that the petitioners herein have offered 
      no evidence to substantiate this allegation.  The tenants have not 
      established that the rent increase for the elevator installation should be 
      revoked.

      The Commissioner further notes that a review of the Division's records 
      discloses that tenants have filed several complaints of decreases in 
      building-wide services, all of which have been denied or terminated by the 
      Agency.  (Docket Nos. BL 420003-B, FB 430032-B, FE 430153-B, FE 430210-B.)  
      Based on a preponderance of the evidence the Commissioner finds that the 
      Rent Administrator properly determined that the owner was entitled to an 
      MCI rent increase for the new compactor, adequate wiring and elevator 
      upgrade as indicated above.

      This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the tenants' right to 
      file the appropriate application for a decrease in rent based on a decrease 
      in services, if the facts so warrant.

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

      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.

      ISSUED:








                                                                    
                                           JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                       Acting Deputy Commissioner






    

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