STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: AK 430002-RT
DRO DOCKET NO.: Z85 LCS000368-HH
SUSANNE C. QUATTROCHI
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW,
AND REMANDING TO DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR
On November 5, 1986, the above-named petitioner filed a Petition for
Administrative Review against an order issued on October 6, 1986 by the
District Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York,
concerning the housing accommodations located at 305 West 71st Street, New
York, New York, wherein the District Rent Administrator determined that
there had been a reduction in the service of hot water and, based thereon,
reduced the rents of the rent-controlled and rent-stabilized tenants who
joined in the proceeding. The reduction was ordered for a period of one
month only, on the grounds that the aforementioned service had been
restored and would continue to be maintained in accordance with D26-17.03
and D26-17.07 of the New York City Housing and Maintenance Code.
The issue in this appeal is whether the District Rent Administrator
properly determined that services had been restored.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and has
carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the issues
raised by the administrative appeal.
The applicable sections of the law are Section 2523.4 of the Rent
Stabilization Code, and Section 9 NYCRR 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction
The original proceeding was commenced by a complaint filed by a tenant on
his behalf and on behalf of five (5) other tenants, in which the tenants
asserted, among other things, that the hot water was inadequate and the
water pressure was low, during peak morning hours, in this 7-unit
In its answer the owner advised, in substance, that there was adequate hot
water and water pressure at the subject premises.
On September 17, 1986, between 10:30 A.M. and 4:00 P.M., a physical
inspection of the subject premises was conducted by a staff member of the
Division who reported that there was adequate hot water and hot water
DOCKET NUMBER: AK 430002-RT
pressure in four (4) apartments; that he was unable to gain access to one
(1) apartment; and that the tenants of one (1) apartment refused to give
In its order, the District Rent Administrator found that the owner had
failed to maintain services in the subject building. The Administrator
also reduced the rent of the rent-controlled tenants involved in the
proceeding by seven and one-half percent, effective November 1, 1986, for
a period of one (1) month, pursuant to Section 9 NYCRR 2202.16 of the Rent
and Eviction Regulations, and reduced the rent of the rent-stabilized
tenants involved in the proceeding to the level in effect prior to the
most recent guidelines adjustment, effective November 1, 1986, for a
period of one (1) month, pursuant to Section 26-514 of the Rent
On April 21, 1987 the Commissioner issued an order granting a petition for
administrative review of the Administrator's order filed by the owner.
The Commissioner found that, the Administrator's finding that there was a
reduction in the service of hot water and water pressure was not supported
by the record and revoked the Administrator's order.
In this petition, the tenant alleges that there continues to be inadequate
hot water and water pressure at the subject premises during peak morning
and evening hours.
In response to the tenant's petition, the owner alleged that there is more
than ample hot water and water pressure in the building; that the tenant
interposed the complaint to harass the owner; that DHCR should have
conducted a building-wide inspection; that he never received complaints
from the tenants prior to their initiating the instant action.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be granted.
Section 9 NYCRR 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations provides, in
pertinent part, that if the landlord fails to maintain essential services
such as heat and/or hot water, the District Rent Administrator may order a
decrease in maximum rent in an amount which the Administrator in his
discretion may determine.
Section 62A of the Rent Stabilization Code requires an owner to maintain
those services defined in Section 2(m) to include repairs and maintenance.
Section 26-514 of the Rent Stabilization Law requires the District Rent
Administrator to reduce the rent upon a finding that the owner has reduced
Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code provides in pertinent part
that a tenant may apply to the DHCR for a reduction of the legal regulated
rent to the level in effect prior to the most recent guidelines
adjustment, and the DHCR shall so reduce the rent for the period for which
it is found that the owner has failed to maintain required services.
In the instant case, the evidence of record discloses that the tenants
herein first filed a complaint alleging a decrease in the service of hot
water and water pressure on August 5, 1986; the owner responded on August
14, 1986 that the water service was adequate; and an inspection of the
DOCKET NUMBER: AK 430002-RT
subject premises, conducted on September 17, 1986 by a staff member of the
Division, indicated that the hot water and water pressure was adequate in
those apartments checked.
However, the Commissioner finds that the mid-day inspection did not
adequately address the tenant's complaint of inadequate hot water and
water pressure during peak hours. Accordingly, the proceeding must be
remanded to the District Rent Administrator either for the scheduling of
an inspection by DHCR personnel at an appropriate hour to respond to and
adequately investigate the tenant's complaint or to request of HPD
Division of Code Enforcement that such inspection be scheduled.
It is noted that the Commissioner's order issued under Docket Number AJ
430252-RO, which did not consider the tenant's petition for
administrative review, revoked the Administrator's order. If, on remand,
a rent reduction is found to be warranted, such reduction should be
prospective only from the first of the month following issuance of this
order, since the owner may have reasonably relied on the Commissioner's
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and Eviction
Regulations for New York City, and the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted and the
proceeding be, and the same hereby is, remanded to the District Rent
Administrator for further processing in accordance with this order and