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.:
                                          :  GG510158RT/GG510171RT/
        VARIOUS TENANTS OF 285               GG510175RT/GG510177RT/
        FORT WASHINGTON AVENUE               GG510200RT/GG510222RT/
        NEW YORK, N.Y.      PETITIONERS   :  GG510226RT/GG510252RT/
      ------------------------------------X  GG510254RT/GG520172RT/
                                             GH510013RT/GH510014RT

                                             RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                             DOCKET NO.: FA530161OM

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

      The above named petitioner-tenants timely filed Petitions for 
      Administrative Review against an order issued on July 7, 1992, by the Rent 
      Administrator (Gertz Plaza) concerning the housing accommodations known as 
      285 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, New York, various apartments, wherein 
      the Administrator granted the owner's application and authorized a rent 
      increase predicated on the installation of rewiring at a net approved cost 
      of $52,3076.00.

      In these petitions for Administrative Review, the tenants contend, in 
      substance, that the rewiring was only done as a result of the landlord 
      trying to co-op the building; that the rewiring is not complete since the 
      extent of work done in their apartments was the installation of a circuit 
      breaker box and one outlet each in the kitchen and living room; and that it 
      is totally inequitable to pay $6.05 per room when the work was only done in 
      two rooms.  The tenants further assert that one of the outlets in the 
      kitchen is not working and that there are no lights in one bedroom (apt. 
      2); that the switches in the foyer and living room are inoperative and that 
      there are no lights in one bedroom (apt. 6); that there no lights in one of 
      the rooms in the apartment due to electrical problems (apt. 45); that the 
      electrical wiring in the other rooms that have not been rewired is 
      substandard and present hazardous conditions; (apt. 46); that the apartment 
      was already renovated when she moved in and her rent of $635.00 included 
      the cost of this improvement (apt. 54); and that no interest have been 
      given on the security deposit after 19 years (apt. 55).

      After a careful consideration of the entire record, 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 







          ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: GG510158RT, et. al.




      for the operation, preservation, and maintenance of the structure; and 
      replace an item whose useful life has expired.  The item for which an MCI 
      rent increase was granted was properly found to meet the definitional 
      requirement of a major capital improvement.

      It is the established position of the Division that the adequate rewiring 
      of a building constitutes a major capital improvement for which a rent 
      increase may be warranted, provided the owner otherwise so qualifies.  The 
      Commissioner notes that adequate rewiring/electrical upgrading requires the 
      installation of new electric service to the building, new copper risers and 
      feeders that extend from the property box in the basement to every housing 
      accommodation of sufficient capacity (a minimum of 64 amperes per 
      apartment) to accommodate the installation of air conditioner circuits and 
      outlets as well as the installation of two duplex outlets in the kitchen to 
      accommodation heavy duty appliances.

      Whereas an owner need not include as part of the major capital improvement 
      rewiring installation the cost of installing new air conditioner circuits 
      and outlets, such work may be included provided they are installed in a 
      uniform number (as in the instant case) in each apartment, in which event 
      tenant consent to such installation is not required.

      The record herein discloses that the owner substantiated its MCI 
      application for the rewiring work in the proceeding below by submitting to 
      the Administrator copies of the contract, cancelled checks, the 
      contractor's certification, and the Certificate of Electrical Inspection 
      issued by the NYC Bureau of Electrical Control for the work in question, 
      the governmental agency having jurisdiction for the verification and the 
      approval thereof, which bears the notation "Electrical Certificate for 
      Adequate Rewiring"; and that the increase was properly computed on a per 
      room basis in accordance with the provisions of the Code.

      While an owner is not required to install an outlet in every room for work 
      to qualify as a MCI, the existing outlets and switches in all rooms must be 
      functional so that the tenants may enjoy the benefit of the new service for 
      which they are required to pay a rent increase.  In this regard it does not 
      appear from the record that tenants were afforded the opportunity to 
      request the installation of additional or repair of outlets while the work 
      was in progress.  The owner is hereby directed to correct any defective 
      conditions with respect to such switches and outlets brought to its 
      attention in writing within 60 days of the issuance of the order and submit 
      proof of same to the Administrator.  Upon the owner's failure to do so, the 
      tenants may, within 90 days from the issuance hereof file an appropriate 
      complaint with the DHCR for a reduction in rent. If found warranted the 
      Administrator may revoke the rent increase for such individual apartments 
      in addition to any additional penalty which may accrue.

      With respect to the allegation of the tenant in apartment 54, the 
      Commissioner notes that for the increase granted by the Administrator's 
      order to be collectible during the term of the current lease; a) the lease 
      must contain a provision authorizing the collection of an increase pursuant 
      to a DHCR order; and b) where the application for this increase was pending


          ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: GG510158RT, et. al.




      prior to the Commencement date of a vacancy lease, the increase granted in 
      the Administrator's order is collectible only if such lease contains a 
      specific provision regarding the application pending before the DHCR,
      citing the Docket Number assigned, the basis for the application, and that 
      any increase granted pursuant to a DHCR order would be effective during the 
      term of the lease.  In the absence of same, said increase was not 
      collectible until the expiration of the lease term in effect at the time of 
      issuance of the MCI order, provided the renewal lease contains a general 
      authorization provision for adjustment of the rent reserved by DHCR order.  
      The owner's violation of this provision could result in a rent overcharge 
      determination.

      Turning to the allegation of the tenant in apartment 55 that no interest 
      have been given on it's security deposit, the Commissioner notes that such 
      allegation does not challenge the propriety of the Administrator's order 
      and does not constitute a bar to an MCI rent increase, if the owner 
      otherwise so qualifies.  This determination herein is without prejudice to 
      the tenant filing an appropriate complaint with the Attorney General 
      office.

      THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and Rent 
      and Eviction Regulations, 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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