ART 09911-Q
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: ART 09911-Q  
            LINDA & GEORGE KESSLER,              D.R.O. DOCKET NO.:              

                                                 OWNER:  W & B REALTY

          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
          tenants' rent.

          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. 

          ART 09911-Q

          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, 
          it is

          ART 09911-Q

          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
                                          Deputy Commissioner


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