Two Adjoining Buildings Formed Horizontal Multiple Dwelling
LVT Number: #21104
Landlord asked the DHCR to rule on whether its building was rent stabilized. The building contained fewer than six apartments, but was next door to another building landlord owned. Tenants claimed that the two buildings together had six or more apartments and formed a horizontal multiple dwelling. The DRA ruled for tenants.
Landlord appealed and lost. A title insurance report showed that construction of the buildings was started and completed the same day, and approved by the city under one permit number. On or after the July 1, 1974, base date for rent-stabilization coverage, the two buildings have had a long history of common ownership and management, and have been transferred by a single deed with a single metes and bounds description. The DHCR's 2002 inspection showed that the building shared one heating system. HPD's "I-card" for the buildings also confirmed that there was one heating system in 1939. Landlord claimed that the heating systems were separated at one point, but didn't show when. Tenants claimed that it was during the 1980s, well after the 1974 base date. The DHCR inspection also showed that the two buildings had an identical front facade, had a similar appearance, and shared an uninterrupted cornice above the first floor. The buildings also shared a common rear yard and one chimney. On the front portion of the buildings, the roofs had an uninterrupted parapet wall. The roofs also had a common wall that forked out about 20 feet from the front of the buildings to create an air shaft between the two buildings. Landlord showed that there was separate electrical usage since 2004, but produced no records, although requested to do so, covering electrical usage before that date. So the DRA properly deemed that the buildings shared electric meters on the base date. There was sufficient proof of common building features on the base date and for some time thereafter to support the finding that the two buildings formed a horizontal multiple dwelling subject to rent stabilization.
11 Realty NY, LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. SJ420020RO (1/13/09) [10-pg. doc.]