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.: HG110105RT
APPEAL OF HG110148RT
PETITIONERS DOCKET NO: GK110075OM
ORDER AND OPINION REMANDING PROCEEDING ON APPEAL
The above-named petitioners timely filed or refiled petitions for
administrative review (PARs) against an order issued on July 7,
1993, by a Rent Administrator (Gertz Plaza) concerning the housing
accommodations known as 189-03, 05, 07, 09, 15, and 17 Henderson
Avenue, Hollis, New York, various apartments, wherein the Rent
Administrator determined that the owner was entitled to a rent
increase based on a major capital improvement(MCI).
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.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion relevant to the issues raised
by these administrative appeals.
The owner commenced this proceeding on November 13, 1992 by
initially filing an application for a rent increase based on the
installation of new windows at a total claimed cost of $13,524.00.
In support of his application, the owner submitted copies of the
contract and cancelled checks. None of the tenants submitted any
answer to the owner's application.
On July 7, 1993, the Rent Administrator issued the order here under
review finding that the subject installation qualified as a major
capital improvement, determining that the application complied with
the relevant laws and regulations based upon the supporting
documentation submitted by the owner, and allowing an appropriate
rent increase for each of the apartments.
In their petitions, the tenants contend, in substance, that they
were not afforded the opportunity to submit answers to the owner's
application since they were never served with a copy of the said
application. They also claim that the windows are loose and do not
lock properly and that their window screens were removed and never
replaced after the new windows were installed.
Adm. Rev. Docket Numbers HG110105RT et. al.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that this proceeding should be
remanded to the Rent Administrator for further processing.
Rent increases for major capital improvements are authorized by
Section 2522.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code for rent stabilized
apartments. Under rent stabilization, the improvement must
generally be building-wide; depreciable under the Internal Revenue
Code, other that for ordinary repairs; required for the operation,
preservation, and maintenance of the structure; and replace an item
whose useful life has expired.
A review of the record in the instant case reveals that the
petitioner-tenants were never served with a copy of the owner's
application and were, therefore, not afforded an opportunity to
participate in the proceeding before the Rent Administrator. The
Commissioner notes that the premises in the instant proceeding is
a garden apartment complex with multi addresses, with each building
having two apartments. The automated computer system, in use by the
Division, is able to provide information on an individual
building/address basis. Since the building address was entered in
the computer as 189-03 Henderson Avenue when the application was
docketed, it means that the tenants of the five remaining addresses
were never served with a copy of the said application.
In view of the foregoing, the Commissioner finds that due process
requires that this proceeding be remanded to the Rent Administrator
for the purpose of serving a copy of the owner's application upon
the tenants and affording them an opportunity to submit an answer.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, granted
to the extent of remanding this proceeding to the Rent
Administrator for such further processing as is deemed necessary to
afford the tenants due process. The Rent Administrator's order
shall remain in full force and effect until such time that a new
order is issued upon remand.
Joseph A. D'Agosta