STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
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
VARIOUS TENANTS OF GA410461RT
200 WEST 15TH STREET PETITIONERS : GB410374RT
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
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 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
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
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,
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