The D.C. Court of Appeals has made a serious mistake in striking down provisions of the D.C. Code requiring tenant approval before a landlord can proceed with a condominium conversion {Metro, Sept. 14}.

The court glossed over the D.C. Council's purpose in enacting the conversion law -- to preserve the availability of housing -- in order to protect landlords from the "unreviewable whims of a narrow segment of the community." That "narrow segment" happens to include a large majority of the population -- all persons renting an apartment in the District -- who will now be subject to a worse extent than ever to the whims of an even narrower segment of the population, landlords.

The conversion law is not a "depravation of property without just compensation." Landlords are routinely compensated with a monthly rent check. Further, the conversion law and the rent control statute in combination do not deprive landlords of any property rights. In reality, the two laws force landlords to make cash payments to longtime residents who must vacate their homes.

The landlords' true resolve here is not concerned with property rights or depravation, but with an attempt to eliminate payments to tenants as an expense of a condominium conversion. ANDREW D. TENENBAUM Washington