BJ410163RO;  BL410373RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NOS.:              
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                   PETITIONER     BE410145S                


          The above-named petitioner-owner filed and refiled petitions for 
          administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on September 24, 
          1987, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommo- 
          dation known as 37A Bedford Street, New York, New York, Apartment 
          52, wherein the Administrator determined that a reduction in rent 
          was warranted based upon a reduction in services.

          The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
          The earlier petition was improperly rejected and then reopened.  
          The two petitions are identical and are being consolidated for 
          disposition herein.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and 
          has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the 
          issue raised by the administrative appeal.

          The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced 
          the rent of the subject apartment.

          On May 11, 1987, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the 
          owner failed to maintain services throughout the apartment.  More 
          specifically, the tenant alleged, in pertinent part, that the owner 
          was not maintaining the bathroom walls, bathroom window and tub, 
          the kitchen sink porcelain, the painting throughout the apartment, 
          and further that the apartment windows were badly deteriorated.

          The owner filed an answer to the complaint alleging that the bath- 
          room deterioration and damage was caused by the tenant and that it 
          was ready, willing and able to restore all other services.

          BJ410163RO;  BL410373RO

          A Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) inspection con- 
          ducted on September 1, 1987, revealed that:

               1.   Bathroom ceiling and walls are severely 
               2.   Floors are defective throughout the apartment.
               3.   Windows are defective throughout apartment.  
                    Frames and sashes are rotted and allow air 
               4.   Apartment front door cannot be locked because 
                    door is warped.
               5.   Venetian blinds are smoke damaged.

          On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that 
          the tenant, without its consent, created a shower in the bathroom 
          where none existed before and caused all of the damage in the 
          bathroom; that the tenant failed to notify it of other service 
          deficiencies; that window deficiencies were minor; that the 
          inspector was in error and that the Rent Administrator should have 
          held a hearing before rendering a determination.

          The petition was served on the tenant on October 31, 1989, and on 
          November 15, 1989, the tenant filed an answer to the petition 
          stating that the floors are defective throughout the apartment and 
          that most repairs made were completed in an unworkmanlike manner.

          After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal 
          should be denied.

          Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, 

               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.

          Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include re- 
          pairs and maintenance.

          The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based his 
          determination on the results of an impartial inspection which bears 
          greater probative value than the self-serving and unsupported alle-
          gations of the owner; and that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the 
          Code, the Administrator was mandated to reduce the rent upon deter- 
          mining that the owner had failed to maintain services.

          The Commissioner notes that the petitioner's statements at PAR con- 


          stitute an admission that many of the conditions that gave rise to 
          the rent reduction were conditions that existed prior to the DHCR 

          The Commissioner rejects the petitioner's assertion that some of 
          the conditions found were not rent reducing items and were other- 
          wise minor in nature.  All service deficiencies found by  inspector 
          were substantial and worthy of the owner's attention.

          The Commissioner also finds that the tenant's complaint was spe- 
          cific and that the owner was a full participant below having filed 
          an answer on June 5, 1987.  The record demonstrates clearly that 
          the owner had adequate notice and opportunity to correct all ser- 
          vice deficiencies.

          Additionally, error was not committed by the Rent Administrator, by 
          its failure to conduct a hearing because the scheduling of hearings 
          is a matter for the sole discretion of the Administrator.

          Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Rent Administrator 
          properly determined that the owner had failed to maintain services, 
          and correctly reduced the rent of the subject accommodation.

          The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted 
          by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this 
          Order and Opinion.

          This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the owner's 
          right to file the appropriate application with the Division for a 
          restoration of rent based upon the restoration of services, if the 
          facts so warrant.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
          it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied and 
          the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.


                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner


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