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.: BA 420155-RT
DRO DOCKET NO.: ZAC 410807-S
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING IN PART PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On January 14, 1987, the above-named petitioner filed a Petition for
Administrative Review against an order issued on December 11, 19 86 by the
Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York concerning
the housing accommodation known as apartment 4H, 215 East 80th Street, New
York, New York wherein the Administrator directed the owner to restore a
decreased service to the required lease but did not order a rent
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 in the administrative appeal.
The tenant commenced this proceeding by filing a complaint alleging two
service deficiencies, failure to paint and failure to wax and buff floors.
The tenant also requested reimbursement for painting expenses incurred by
the tenant in 1983. The tenant applied for a rent reduction if no other
remedy was available.
A copy of the complaint was served on the owner on April 16, 1986.
In response, the owner stated that it had no obligation to wax and buff
the floors and submitted a copy of the tenant's lease to substantiate the
assertion. The owner stated also that it would paint the subject
apartment when the tenant arranged to have it done.
In reply, the tenant stated that buffing was an owner-provided service in
the prime lease of 1977-1980 (when the tenant was a sub-tenant) and
submitted a portion of that lease.
A physical inspection of the subject apartment was conducted by a staff
member of the DHCR who reported that the entire apartment was in need of
scraping and painting.
DOCKET NUMBER: BA 420155-RT
In the order issued on December 11, 1986 the Administrator determined that
there had been a diminution of services and directed the owner to restore
the service. Since the law does not authorize a rent reduction upon a
finding of decreased services in a residential hotel, no rent reduction
In the petition, the tenant seeks modification of the Administrator's
order and contends that the Administrator erred in calling the subject
premises a residential hotel. Furthermore the tenant states that the
administrator ignored the substance of the complaint i.e. the refund
requested for the 1983 painting and floor buffing, a service which was
required by the tenant's first lease. The tenant stated that a similar
situation with respect to painting had arisen in 1979 and the CAB had
ordered the owner to reimburse the tenant.
In reply the owner asserts there is no clause in the tenant's prior lease
requiring the owner to buff the floor. With regard to painting the owner
reiterates its previous answer.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be granted in
Code Section 2520.6r(r) provides in pertinent part that each housing
accommodation must be painted at lease once every three years in
compliance with the Housing Maintenance Code. Pursuant to Code Section
2523.4, a tenant may apply 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.
The record in the instant case clearly shows that the subject apartment
required painting. The Commissioner finds no evidence to sustain the
finding that the subject premises is a residential hotel. The apartment
is registered as a stabilized apartment. The leases submitted in evidence
appear to be standard apartment leases moreover, neither of the parties
made such an assertion. Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the
Administrator's order should be modified to reflect the correct status of
the subject apartment.
The tenant's application for a rent reduction was conditional. The tenant
wanted a rent reduction only if no other remedy was available. The
tenant's actual concern was reimbursement for painting expenses he had
incurred in 1983. The Code does not provide for the relief requested.
Accordingly, this order is issued without prejudice to the tenant's right
to pursue the refund matter in a court of competent jurisdiction. Upon
the finding that the owner had failed to maintain services, Code section
2523.4 mandates a reduction in rent. Therefore, the Commissioner finds
that the rent should be reduced to the level in effect prior to the most
recent guidelines adjustment effective retroactively May 1, 1986. The
arrears portion of this reduction may be credited against current rent not
to exceed 20% per month. The owner may apply for a restoration of rent by
submitting proof that the decreased service has been restored or by filing
an application for a rent restoration. If the facts so warrant, such
restoration will be effective on the first of the month following service
as the tenant of an order restoring the rent.
DOCKET NUMBER: BA 420155-RT
With respect to the floor buffing allegation, careful perusal of the 1977
lease, the lease in question, reveals only one clause, clause no. 35,
which is pertinent to the subject matter. The Commissioner notes that
this clause does not relate to on going obligations owed by the owner but
concerns only initial owner responsibilities to ready the subject
apartment for occupancy. Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the
1977 lease did not require the owner to provide regular floor buffing
The Commissioner finds that the petition to modify the Administrator's
order should be granted to the extent that:
(1) the subject premises is not a residential hotel, and
(2) a rent reduction should be ordered, and should be denied
respect to (1) the reimbursement request, and (2) the floor
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in part,
and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, modified in
accordance with this order and opinion.