STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
-------------------------------------X ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE DOCKET Nos.: HB230051RT,
APPEALS OF HB230052RT, HB230053RT,
VARIOUS TENANTS OF HB230054RT, HB230055RT,
225 EASTERN PARKWAY HB230056RT, HB230057RT,
BROOKLYN, NY 11238 HB230058RT, HB230086RT,
DOCKET NO.: FL230053OM
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On various dates, the above named petitioner-tenants timely filed
administrative appeals against an order issued on January 22, 1993
by the Rent Administrator (Gertz Plaza, Jamaica, New York)
concerning the housing accommodations known as 225 Eastern Parkway,
Brooklyn, New York, various apartments, wherein the Rent
Administrator granted the owner's major capital improvement (MCI)
application. The Administrator authorized a rent increase
adjustment for rewiring.
Since these petitions pertain to the same building and involve
common issues of law and fact, these appeals have been consolidated
for a uniform determination.
The owner commenced this proceeding below by filing its MCI
application in December 1991.
In response to the MCI application, the petitioners contended, in
substance, that (1) the work involved in the rewiring installation
consisted of electrical risers and circuit breaker boxes installed
in each apartment with an additional duplex outlet in the kitchen.
The installation however, did not include new wiring in other
rooms; (2) rewiring was necessary as the building management
neglected to maintain services; (3) the installation cost is
excessive for the amount of work completed; (4) the building was in
need of rewiring, therefore, the work completed should not be
considered a major capital improvement and (5) shortly after the
installation, there was an electrical fire in the building.
Moreover, tenant of apartment 3D stated that the rewiring
installation was completed prior to moving into the apartment.
ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO. HB-230051-RT ET. AL.
The owner responded to the tenants' objections by contending, in
substance, that the rewiring work was completed according to the
regulatory guidelines set forth by the Agency.
On January 22, 1993, the Rent Administrator issued the order here
under review finding that the installation qualified as an MCI,
determining that the application complied with the relevant laws
and regulations based upon the supporting documentation submitted
by the owner, and allowing appropriate rent increases for rent
controlled and rent stabilized tenants.
On appeal, the petitioner-tenants contended, in substance, that (A)
the electrical circuits in the basement were installed on the
exterior wall, subject to water infiltration; (B) the rewiring
installation consisted of a replacement of the fuse box with a
circuit breaker unit. (C) no additional rewiring work done to
other rooms throughout each apartment; (D) the work was in
violation of the NYC Electrical Code and the NYC Department of
Buildings failed to properly inspect the rewiring installation and
(E) the tenants were not given an option to accept or decline the
rewiring installation in their apartments. The tenant of apartment
3D states that the circuit breaker was being installed at the time
she moved into the apartment.
In response to the tenant petitions the owner contends, in
substance, that the tenants bring forth no valid reason to reverse
or modify the determination of the Rent Administrator.
Furthermore, the rewiring installation was done according to the
guidelines set forth by the Division.
After careful consideration of this entire record, the Commissioner
is of the opinion that these petitions should be denied.
At the outset, the Commissioner notes that for an electrical
upgrading to qualify as an MCI under current procedures, the job
requires the installation of new electric service to the building,
new copper riser and feeders extending from the property box in the
basement to every housing accommodation of sufficient capacity (220
volts at the apartment panel) to accommodate the installation of
air-conditioner circuit outlets as well as the installation of two
duplex outlets in the kitchen to accommodate heavy duty appliances
(as performed in the case herein). In addition, the tenants must
be given the option of having air-conditioning outlets installed in
their apartments at cost to the tenants. 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.
ADMIN. REVIEW DOCKET NO. HB-230051-RT ET. AL.
Moreover, the owner is not required to install an outlet in every
room for the work to qualify for an MCI rent increase, nor is
tenant consent required for work which comprises a major capital
With regard to the contention by the tenant of apartment 3D, the
Division has ruled that where a tenant takes occupancy prior to the
filing of an MCI application, the owner is not required to provide
specific notice in the tenant's vacancy lease since the application
was not filed with the Division and the tenant received the same
notice as all other tenants. However, for the MCI increase to be
collectible during the lease term then in effect, such lease must
contain a general authorization provision for the collection
thereof. The tenant may look to the terms of her lease (a copy of
which is not submitted) and the determination herein is without
prejudice to the tenant filing an appropriate complaint of rent
overcharge, if the facts so warrant.
This order and opinion is issued without prejudice to the tenants,
or any one of them, filing a complaint with the Division based on
a reduction of services or rent overcharge, if the facts so
On the basis of the entire evidence of record, it is found that the
Administrator's order is correct and should be affirmed.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code and Operational bulletin 84-1, it is
ORDERED, that the administrative appeals be, and the same hereby
are, denied; and that the Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, affirmed.
Joseph A. D'Agosta