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.: ART 09911-Q
LINDA & GEORGE KESSLER, D.R.O. DOCKET NO.:
OWNER: W & B REALTY
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On May 2, 1986 the above-named petitioner-tenants filed a Petition
for Administrative Review against an order issued on March 28,
1986 by the District Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street,
Jamaica, New York, concerning housing accommodations known s 68-
64 Yellowstone Boulevard, Forest Hills, New York, Apartment A-60
wherein the District Rent Administrator determined that the owner
had failed to maintain services and, based thereon, reduced the
The issue in this appeal is whether the District Rent Administrat
or's order was warranted.
The applicable sections of the Law are Sections 9NYCRR 2520.6 and
2525.2 of the Rent Stabilization Code and Section 26-514 of the
Rent Stabilization Law.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record
and has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant
to the issue raised by the administrative appeal.
This proceeding was originally commenced on September 21, 1984 by
one of the tenants filing a complaint of decrease in services in
which he alleged, among other things, that there was water damage
resulting from leaks and flooding over a six-year period; that
storm windows and screens were missing or not supplied; that the
20-hour per week service of the relief doorman had been lost; that
neither a storage room nor bicycle room existed anymore; and that
the owner was harassing them.
In answer, the owner denied the tenants' allegations and contended
that there had never, at least since 1967, been a relief doorman,
and that the storm windows had been removed by the tenants.
On February 21, 1986 a Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) staff member conducted a physical inspection of the subject
apartment. He reported various items of water leak damage,
missing storm windows, and hard-to-open windows. On March 28,
1986 the District Rent Administrator issued an order reducing the
lawful stabilization rent effective June 1, 1985 based on the
items of service decrease found by the inspector.
In this petition the tenants contends in substance that their
complaint of damages concerns occurrences back to 1978, and that
neither the storage room, bicycle room and relief doorman, nor the
issue of harassment, were mentioned in the order. With their
petition the tenants have enclosed copies of letters to the owner,
written in 1980 and 1981, describing the water leakage problems as
having started in 1978.
The owner did not submit an answer to the tenants' petition,
although given an opportunity to do so.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
In addition to their complaints about water damage, missing storm
windows and defective windows, which the DHCR was able to confirm
by a physical inspection, the tenants also complained about other
building-wide services which they contended used to be provided.
The tenants did not make out a prima facie case by submitting
affidavits from other tenants who recalled the services being
provided previously or by having other tenants sign onto a
complaint regarding such allegations of decreases in services
provided to the whole building. It was not unreasonable for the
Administrator to not make a finding based upon bare allegations.
Regarding the tenants' contention that the service decreases began
in 1978, the Commissioner notes that the effective date for a rent
reduction based on a service decrease is set at the first rent
payment date after an owner is put on notice by the DHCR that a
rent reduction order may result from a tenant's complaint of a
decrease in services. While the tenants herein may have been
registering complaints with the owner since 1978, they did not
complain to the DHCR until six years later. Because the complaint
was formally served on the owner by the DHCR on May 10, 1985, it
was appropriate to reduce the rent as of June 1, 1985 after it was
eventually determined that there was indeed a decrease in
services. The tenants' petition is therefore denied with respect
to their implicit contention that the rent reduction should be
effective as of 1978.
The Commissioner notes that this denial of the tenants' petition
does not affect the Administrator's order, which reduced the
lawful stabilization rent based on several other service decreases
not the subject of the petition.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied and
that the District Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA