STATE OF NEW YORK
                     DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

     ------------------------------------X 
     IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: AK 430002-RT
                                         :  
                                            DRO DOCKET NO.: Z85 LCS000368-HH
       SUSANNE C. QUATTROCHI
                           PETITIONER    : 
     ------------------------------------X                             


          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
     Regulations.

     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
     building.

     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
     him access.

     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
     Stabilization Law.

     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 
     services.

     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
     previous order.

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions  of  the  Rent  and  Eviction
     Regulations for New York City, and the Rent Stabilization  Law  and  Code,
     it is

     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
     opinion.

     ISSUED:









                                                                   
                                             ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                                                   
    

TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name