HG210010RO

                                STATE OF NEW YORK
                    DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                          OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                   GERTZ PLAZA
                             92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                             JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433


      ------------------------------------X 
      IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
      APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. HG210010RO

                                          :  DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
           340 East 31st Street Realty Co.,  DOCKET NO. GJ210499R
                                            
                                             TENANT: Veronica Blackwood  

                            PETITIONER    : 
      ------------------------------------X                             

           ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


      On June 24, 1993, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition for 
      Administrative Review against an order issued on May 26, 1993, by the 
      Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York, 
      concerning the housing accommodations known as 3214 Beverly Road, 
      Brooklyn , New York, Apartment No. B2, wherein the Administrator 
      determined that the owner had collected an overcharge.

      The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's order was 
      warranted.

      The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and has 
      carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the issue 
      raised by the administrative appeal.  

      The proceeding was commenced by the tenant's filing of a rent overcharge 
      complaint on October 26, 1992.  

      In Order Number GJ210499R, the Administrator determined that the owner 
      had proved the cost of the installation of a new stove and a new 
      refrigerator totalling $666.82, entitling the owner to a rent increase 
      of $16.67 and further determining that the owner had failed to 
      substantiate additional claimed improvements, the Administrator 
      established the legal stabilization rent at $409.76 and directed the 
      owner to refund to the tenant an overcharge of $3,165.92 inclusive of 
      excess security and interest.

      In this petition, the owner contends in substance that the Administrator 
      erred is not permitting a rent increase for all the improvements in the 
      subject apartment as complete documentation substantiating said 
      improvements had been submitted.




      In response, the tenant concedes that the owner did provide a new stove 
      and refrigerator as well as a new toilet which she asserts should be 







          HG210010RO

      considered not an improvement but a necessity.  However, the tenant 
      denies that other improvements were made in the subject apartment.

      The Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

      Pursuant to Section 2522.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, an owner 
      is entitled to a rent increase where there has been a substantial 
      increase of dwelling space or services or the installation of new 
      equipment provided in or to the housing accommodation on written tenant 
      consent to the rent increase.  In the case of vacant housing 
      accommodations, tenant consent is not required.

      In the event of a tenant challenge to the rent, an owner must provide 
      sufficient documentation, i.e. paid bills, cancelled checks et. al. 
      which indicate clearly when and where the improvements were made as well 
      as cost and payment, to substantiate the rent increase taken.

      A review of the record reveals that the documents submitted by the owner 
      were deficient in that the site of the improvement was not cited, nor 
      was the nature of the improvement clearly specified.  Given that the 
      owner acknowledges that he was working on several apartments at the same 
      time and that the tenant denies that the improvements at issue were made 
      and states that some work, painting, for example, is not an improvement 
      but necessary maintenance, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator 
      did not err in disallowing the improvement amount in controversy.  

      The owner is directed to reflect the findings and determinations made in 
      this order on all future registration statements, including those for 
      the current year if not already filed, citing this order as the basis 
      for the change.  Registration statements already on file, however, 
      should not be amended to reflect the findings and determinations made in 
      this order.  The owner is further directed to adjust subsequent rents to 
      an amount no greater than that determined by this order plus any lawful 
      increases.

      The Commissioner has determined in this Order and Opinion that the owner 
      collected overcharges of $3,165.92.  This Order may, upon expiration of 
      the period for seeking review of this Order and Opinion pursuant to 
      Article Seventy-eight of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, be filed and 
      enforced as a judgment or not in excess of twenty percent per month of 
      the overcharge may be offset against any rent thereafter due the owner.  
      Where the tenant credits the overcharge, the tenant may add to the 
      overcharge, or where the tenant files this Order as a judgment, the 
      County Clerk may add to the overcharge, interest at the rate payable on 
      a judgment pursuant to Section 5004 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules 
      from the issuance date of the Rent Administrator's Order to the issuance 
      date of the Commissioner's Order.

      THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabilization 
      Law and Code, it is




      ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and the same 
      hereby is, denied, and, that the order of the Rent Administrator be, and 
      the same hereby is, affirmed.



          HG210010RO



      ISSUED:



                                                                    
                                      JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                      Deputy Commissioner





    

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