OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEALS OF                             DOCKET NOS.: 
                                              :  GF510226RT/GF510285RT/
           VARIOUS TENANTS OF                    GF510337RT/GF510504RT/
           160 CLAREMONT AVENUE,                 GG410019RT/GG510027RT/
                                PETITIONERS   :  GG520028RT/GG510034RT/
          ------------------------------------X  GG510038RT/GG510039RT/

                                                 RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                 DOCKET NO.: EA530139OM

                                       IN PART

          The above-named petitioner-tenants timely filed or refiled 
          administrative appeals against an order issued on June 2, 1992 by 
          the Rent Administrator (92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York) 
          concerning the housing accommodations known as 160 Claremont 
          Avenue, New York, New York, various apartments, wherein the 
          Administrator granted major capital improvement (MCI) rent 
          increases for the controlled and stabilized apartments in the 
          subject premises based on the installation of new apartment windows 
          with half screens and a new entrance door.  Said order exempted 16 
          apartments from the window portion of the increase due to the 
          defective nature of the window installation and provided for a 
          possible prospective increase with regard to those 16 apartments.

          In their petitions the tenants contend, variously and in substance, 
          that the windows are defective and were not installed in a 
          workmanlike manner; that some windows were not inspected; that no 
          notice of the inspection conducted below was given; that the 
          entrance door did not need to be replaced and the tenants should 
          not have to pay for it; that tenants were not given an opportunity  
          to respond to the MCI application; and that there was no notice of 
          the MCI rent increase application in vacancy leases.  Various 
          tenants raise complaints regarding items unrelated to the MCI 

          The owner did not submit a response to any of the tenants' 


          ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: GF510226RT,  et. al.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that these petitions should be 
          granted in part.

          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.

          With respect to the contention that the tenants were not provided 
          an opportunity to respond to the MCI application, the record 
          indicates that the tenants in occupancy at the time the instant 
          application was filed were properly notified and afforded an 
          opportunity to submit a response thereto.

          In the event of a change of tenancy during a major capital 
          improvement proceeding, it is the obligation of the owner to notify 
          the new tenant of the pendency of such proceeding, and to advise 
          the Division of this change in tenancy.  While not fatal to the 
          owner's application, the owner runs the risk of the tenant who was 
          not so notified raising issues on appeal which could have been 
          raised in the proceeding below, thus jeopardizing the finality of 
          the Administrator's order.  

          Where a tenant takes occupancy pursuant to a vacancy lease 
          commencing after the owner filed its MCI application, the 
          Commissioner notes that for any MCI increase granted by the 
          Administrator's Order to be collectible during the term of the 
          tenant's vacancy lease, such vacancy lease would have to contain a 
          specific clause advising the tenant of the docket number of the 
          pending proceeding and advising that the rent charged was subject 
          to additional increase (during the current lease term in effect) as 
          provided by Section 2522.4(a)(5) of the Rent Stabilization Code and 
          established Division precedent.  In the absence of same, said 
          increase would not be collectible until the expiration of the lease 
          term in effect at the time of issuance of the Administrator's 
          order, provided the renewal lease contains a general authorization 
          provision for adjustment of the rent reserved by DHCR order.

          In their petitions various tenants contend, in substance, that the 
          owner is precluded from receiving MCI rent increases because it 
          does not have a New York business address.  The Commissioner notes 
          that neither the Code nor the Regulations contain any such 

          The Commissioner notes that several tenants raise complaints in 
          their petitions regarding items which are unrelated to the MCI 

          ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: GF510226RT,  et. al.

          installations.  The determination herein is without prejudice to 
          the right of the tenants to file an appropriate application for a 
          reduction in rent based on a decrease in services, if the facts so 

          As to the tenants' contentions that the entrance door did not need 
          to be replaced and the tenants should not have to pay a rent 
          increase therefor, the tenants have not submitted any evidence in 
          support of these contentions and have not established that a rent 
          increase for the entrance door was not warranted.  Based on the 
          supporting documentation submitted by the owner, the Commissioner 
          finds that the Administrator properly granted a rent increase for 
          said door.

          It is the established position of the Division that the building- 
          wide installation of new apartment windows and/or public area 
          windows to replace windows which are 25 or more years old and the 
          installation of new entrance doors constitute major capital 
          improvements for which a rent increase adjustment may be warranted, 
          provided the owner otherwise so qualifies.  

          For such work to qualify for an MCI rent increase, the work must be 
          performed in such a workmanlike manner that all tenants may enjoy 
          the benefit thereof.

          In this regard the record reveals that tenants of 25 out a total of 
          72 apartments (35%) raised complaints concerning the window 
          installation during the proceeding before the Administrator.  In 
          response thereto, the owner advised the Division that "(c)aulking 
          and adjustments were made as required."  However, physical 
          inspections of the subject premises, conducted on April 1,  and 2, 
          1992 by a staff member of the Division disclosed that in 17 
          apartments (24%), 61 out of a total of 491 windows (12%) were 
          defective.  Said inspections revealed that windows and screens were 
          not aligned properly, sashes and frames were loose and/or sticking, 
          moldings were not properly caulked, locks were defective, 
          windowpanes were cracked, and a screen was missing.  

          Where, as in the instant case, 24% of the apartments are found to 
          contain defective windows comprising over 10% of the total number 
          of windows installed, the Commissioner is of the opinion and finds 
          that the building-wide window installation was not performed in a 
          workmanlike manner.  In view of the foregoing, the Commissioner 
          further finds that so much of the rent increase provided for in the 
          Administrator's order which pertains to windows should be revoked 
          from the inception thereof.  

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


          ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: GF510226RT,  et. al.

          ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, granted 
          in part; that the order of the Rent Administrator be, and the same 
          hereby is, modified as indicated above to revoke from its inception 
          so much of the rent increase as pertained to the window 
          installation; that the rent increase be, and the same hereby is 
          reduced to the amount of $0.25 per room, per month; and it is 

          ORDERED, that the owner refund to the tenants of rent controlled 
          apartments any excess rent collected as a result of this order 
          within 30 days from the date of issuance hereof.  With respect to 
          rent stabilized apartments, the owner shall credit any excess rent 
          collected at the rate of 20% per month, commencing the first rent 
          payment date after issuance of this order until all over payments 
          have been refunded.

          NOTE:  This order has the effect of reducing the rents of both rent 
          controlled and rent stabilized apartments as of the effective dates 
          thereof, June 1, 1990 for rent control and July 1, 1992 for 
          stabilized units, to which may be added any authorized rent 
          increases unrelated to the major capital improvement.  The 
          resulting reduction in rent continues in effect notwithstanding 
          that an Article 78 proceeding for judicial review or other legal 
          action may have been taken in connection with this order of the 
          Commissioner unless and until an order is issued to the contrary.


                                               JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                               Deputy Commissioner

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