Accessibility Ramps Qualify as Major Capital Improvements
LVT Number: #27121
The DRA granted landlord’s MCI rent increase application for installation of doors, locks, and cylinders, but denied any increase for temporary relocation and reinstallation of mailboxes and accessibility ramp/concrete work installation with all the related work. The DRA noted that landlord failed to provide a list of disabled tenants in the building. Landlord appealed, and the DHCR denied its PAR. Landlord then filed an Article 78 court appeal. The court sent the case back to DHCR for reconsideration. The DHCR then ruled for landlord in part. Landlord again argued that it was forbidden by the fair housing laws to request disability information from tenants, and that the accessibility ramp benefitted all tenants.
The DHCR agreed. Previously, the DHCR’s policy was that rent increases for accessibility ramps would be granted only where a disabled tenant made a complaint to landlord or a governmental agency that deals with accessibility issues. But making rent increases for what can be a major installation solely contingent upon tenant complaint was burdensome on both landlords and tenants. Also ramps have become a standard of modern multiple dwelling construction and building rehabilitation. Accessibility ramps also are helpful to a wide range of tenants and visitors, including people wheeling baby strollers or luggage, elderly people with difficulty walking, and people with temporary injuries. Accessibility ramps, both interior and exterior, are now eligible for MCI rent increases. [Download PDF of original decision here.]
Bradley Apts. Co., LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. DO210007RP (6/7/16) [3-pg. doc.]