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 NO.: HF430091RT
APPEAL OF HF430090RT
Doris Gaskell Strakosch &
PETITIONERS DOCKET NO: FG430040RK
ORDER AND OPINION REMANDING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named petitioner-tenants timely refiled petitions for
administrative Review (PARS) against an order issued under Docket
No. FG430040RK on March 16, 1993, by the Rent Administrator (Gertz
Plaza) concerning the housing accommodations known as 26 East 63rd
Street, New York, New York, various apartments.
The Commissioner deems it appropriate to consolidate these
petitions for disposition since they pertain to the same order and
involve common issues of law and fact.
On May 24, 1991, the Rent Administrator issued an order (Docket No.
DF430213OM) denying the owner's application for a major capital
improvement rent increase for elevator upgrading based on the
owner's failure to adequately respond to various notices.
By letter dated June 26, 1991, the owner, a condominium
corporation, requested reconsideration of the Administrator's order
issued on May 24, 1991. On August 1, 1991, the Administrator
reopened the said proceeding and afforded the tenants an
opportunity to comment thereupon. In response to the reopened
proceeding, several tenants filed answers, contending, in
substance, that with the conversion of manned to self service
elevators, there is a loss of security; and that the saving in
labor costs should be passed on to the tenants since the positions
of seven elevator operators were eliminated.
On March 16, 1993, the Rent Administrator issued an order (Docket
No. FG430040RK) revoking the denial order issued under Docket No.
DF430213OM and granted retroactive and prospective rent increases
for the controlled and stabilized units based on the determination
that the installation constitutes an MCI. Said order contains a
Adm. Rev. Docket No. HF430091RT et. al.
notation advising the owner that to reduce staffing or any
services, "prior approval of the Division is required".
In their petitions for Administrative Review, the tenants request
reversal of the Administrator's order and contend, in substance,
that the order of the Rent Administrator is arbitrary and
capricious and erroneous as a matter of law; and that conversion
from manned to automatic self service elevators is a decrease in
required services under the rent Stabilization Law and Code and the
Rent and Eviction Regulation.
A review of the Division's records reveal that 12 other tenants of
the subject premises filed individual PARs against the Rent
Administrator's order appealed herein. Said PARs, which raised
similar issues of law and fact as those raised in the instant PARs,
were consolidated and on June 25, 1993, the Commissioner issued an
order and opinion finding that the MCI rent increase granted under
Docket No. FG430040RK should be suspended, retroactive to the
effective dates stated in said order, and that the proceeding
should be remanded to the Administrator to be held in abeyance.
The Commissioner notes that the remand proceeding, which was
assigned Docket No. HF430026RP, is still pending before the
In view of the foregoing, the Commissioner is of the opinion that
this matter should be remanded to the Administrator for
consolidation with Docket Nos. HC430197RT et. al. for which the
remand order was issued on June 25, 1993, and which proceeding is
pending before the administrator under Docket No. HF430026RP.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code, and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it
ORDERED, that these petition be, and the same hereby are, granted
to the extent of remanding this proceeding to the Rent
Administrator for further processing in accordance with this order
and opinion; and that the major capita improvement rent increase
granted under Docket No. FG430040RK be and the same hereby is
suspended, from the inception thereof; and it is further
ORDERED, that the owner refund to the tenants any excess rent
collected as a result of this order within 30 days from the date of
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA