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

          -----------------------------------X     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEALS OF                                            HF210172RT
          Ellen Azriel of 2576 East 6th Street;                 HF210243RT
          Grazia Argoetti of 65 Manhattan Court;
          Dorothy S. Blaustein of 63 Manhattan
          Court and Miriam Legeno of 60 
          Manhattan Court, Brooklyn, New York

                                                   RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                  PETITIONERS      DOCKET NO.: FF210008OM


          The petitioner-tenants timely filed administrative appeals against 
          an order issued on May 17, 1993 by the Rent Administrator  (92-31
          Union Hall Street, Jamaica,  New  York)  concerning  the  housing
          accommodations known as Ocean Park Estates, Brooklyn,  New  York,
          various apartments, wherein the  Administrator  granted  a  major
          capital  improvement  (MCI)  rent  increase  for  the  stabilized
          apartments in the subject premises.

          The owner commenced this  proceeding  below  by  filing  its  MCI
          application in June of 1991 based  on  the  installation  of  new
          apartment windows at a total  claimed  cost  of  $220,428.00.  In
          support of its application, the owner  submitted  copies  of  the
          contract, contractor's certification and cancelled checks.

          On July 1, 1991 a copy of the MCI application was served  by  the
          Division on the tenants. Along with the application was a form to 
          be used by the tenants for their responses.

          Several tenants objected to the  owner's  application,  including
          three of the petitioners  (Note:  The  petitioner-tenant,  Grazia
          Argoetti of 65 Manhattan Court, Apartment Number A, failed to file 
          an objection to the owner's application):


          Ellen Azriel, 2576 East 6th Street, Apartment Number A

          The installation of new windows was not necessary, and the owner 
          failed to obtain her consent for the installation  and  the  rent

          Dorothy S. Blaustein, 63 Manhattan Court, Apartment A

          The window replacement was long overdue; the neighboring apartment 
          still had old windows; the owner  was  not  maintaining  building
          services; and the new windows were of cheap quality and were hard 
          to open and close.

          Miriam Legeno, 60 Manhattan Court, Apartment A

          The windows were not requested by the tenants; the  claimed  cost
          exceeds the total cost incurred by the owner, and the  owner  has
          failed to maintain services.

          The Administrator's order appealed herein authorized an MCI  rent
          increase for the new apartment windows.

          On  appeal,  the  petitioner-tenants  state,  in  substance,  the

          Ellen Azriel, 2576 East 6th Street, Apartment Number A

          The windows and the screens have not worked ever since they  were
          installed, and the owner was made aware of the situation, but to no 
          avail as nothing has been fixed.

          Grazia Argoetti, 65 Manhattan Court, Apartment Number A

          The windows installed are of inferior quality and are easy to open 
          from the outside which causes a security risk.

          Dorothy S. Blaustein, 63 Manhattan Court, Apartment A and  Miriam
          Legeno, 60 Manhattan Court, Apartment A

          The windows installed are of inferior quality; there are continuing 
          problems in opening and closing of the windows which  creates  an
          unsafe situation; adjustments were  made,  however  the  problems
          continue to exist due to the inferior quality of the windows.

          In response to the  tenants'  petitions,  the  owner  states,  in
          substance, the following:


          Ellen Azriel, 2576 East 6th Street, Apartment Number A

          An inspection of the premises will be performed and if  required,
          adjustments to the windows and/or screens will be made. All of the 
          tenants' window complaints made while during the application  was
          pending were taken care of. This tenant is raising this allegation 
          for the first time on appeal.

          Grazia Argoetti, 65 Manhattan Court, Apartment Number A

          The windows installed are in good working condition.

          Dorothy S. Blaustein, 63 Manhattan Court, Apartment A and  Miriam
          Legeno, 60 Manhattan Court, Apartment A

          All the necessary adjustments were made to the windows,  and  the
          windows installed are the best on the market.

          After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that these administrative  appeals
          should be denied.

          Rent increases for major capital improvements are  authorized  by
          Section 2522.4 of  the  Rent  Stabilization  Code  for  the  rent
          stabilized apartments. 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.  It  is  the
          established position  of  the  Division  that  the  building-wide
          installation of  apartment  windows,  as  in  the  instant  case,
          qualifies as an MCI.

          The evidence of record in the instant case indicates that the owner 
          fully substantiated its application in the  proceeding  below  by
          submitting to the Administrator documentation in support thereof, 
          including copies of the contract, the contractor's  certification
          and cancelled checks. Considering the nature and  extent  of  the
          complex-wide work involved herein (the installation of over  1400
          windows in 183 apartments at a total cost of $220,428.00), the fact 
          that a limited number  of  tenants  may  have  experienced  minor
          difficulty  with  said  window  installation  (while  20  tenants
          submitted answers in the proceeding below, only 8 of those tenants 
          questioned the adequacy of the  window  installation,  only  four
          tenants filed appeals, and only one of those  tenants  filing  an
          appeal complained about the windows in the original proceeding) is 
          not sufficient grounds to conclude that the owner is not entitled 
          to  the  MCI  rent  increase   adjustment   authorized   by   the
          Administrator. However, the owner is hereby directed to correct any 


          defective condition brought to its attention in writing, if it has 
          not already done so, and  the  determination  herein  is  without
          prejudice to the right of the tenants or any one of them filing an 

          appropriate application for a rent reduction based on a diminution 
          of building-wide and/or individual apartment services,  including
          defective windows, if the facts so warrant.

          The Commissioner notes that tenant consent is not required and that 
          three of the petitioner-tenants did not raise any objections as to 
          the quality of the new window installation while this  proceeding
          was pending before the  Rent  Administrator  although  they  were
          afforded the opportunity to do so.

          Fundamental principles of the administrative appeal  process  and
          Section 2529.6 of the Rent Stabilization Code prohibit a party from 
          raising issues on appeal which  were  not  raised  below  as  the
          petitioner-tenants could have raised the very issues  before  the
          Rent Administrator which they now seek to raise for the first time 
          on  appeal.  Accordingly,  the  Commissioner  is  constrained  to
          foreclose consideration of their objections in this proceeding.

          As to the remaining petitioner-tenant (Dorothy S.  Blaustein,  63
          Manhattan Court, Apartment A) who did in fact complain about  the
          quality of the new  windows  during  the  proceeding  before  the
          Administrator, the Commissioner notes that this tenant's complaint 
          was never served upon the owner by the Administrator. The owner is 
          hereby directed to inspect and make any necessary repairs to  the
          windows in said apartment within 60 days from the issuance date of 
          this order and opinion. Should the owner fail to make any necessary 
          repairs to this  apartment's  windows,  the  tenant  may  file  a
          complaint with the Division. If the tenant  does  so  within  the
          following ninety days and if the Administrator determines that the 
          windows are defective, then the  Administrator  may  rescind  the
          original MCI rent increase for this apartment retroactively to the 
          effective date thereof in addition to a rent reduction pursuant to 
          Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code.

          As to the tenants' contention with respect to the maintenance  of
          services, a review of Division records discloses that there were no 
          orders outstanding against the  subject  premises  based  on  the
          owner's failure to maintain building-wide services at the time the 
          Administrator's order was issued.

          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, it is


          ORDERED, that these administrative appeals be, and the same hereby 
          are, denied; and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and  the
          same hereby is, affirmed.


                                              Joseph A. D'Agosta
                                              Deputy Commissioner


TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name