Landlord's Wheelchair/Accessibility Ramp Wasn't a Building-Wide Improvement
LVT Number: #32308
Landlord applied for MCI rent hikes based on installation of a wheelchair/accessibility ramp. The DRA ruled against landlord, who appealed and lost. Since 2016, the DHCR had granted MCI applications for wheelchair/accessibility ramps or lifts without requiring that a tenant complaint preceded the installation. But here, the building had both an east wing and west wing. The installed ramp was at the west wing entrance where the west wing elevator was located. No east wing ramp was installed. Any tenant of the east wing who used the ramp must go through the lobby to get to the east wing and east wing elevator. And there were two steps leading from the lobby to the east wing that prevented tenants in wheelchairs from accessing the east wing. Landlord claimed that it wasn't physically or structurally feasible to install a ramp to replace the two steps between the lobby and the east wing. The DHCR found that the installed ramp didn't qualify as an MCI because it wasn't a building-wide improvement. It didn't matter that the ramp was required by a NYC Human Rights Commission order and that there were no tenants with disabilities requiring the ramp in the east wing. The west wing ramp didn't give a tenant with a manually operated and motorized wheelchair access to all the building's public and common areas.
Elbridge Realty LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. GQ610003RO (10/27/22)[3-pg. document]