BD 810096 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK   11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. BD 810096 RO

                                                  DOCKET NO. YAL 8-1-0011 S


                                       IN PART

          On April 6, 1987, the above-named landlord filed a  petition  for
          administrative review of an order issued on March 2,  1987  by  a
          District Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodations 
          known as Apartment 7A, 525 Riverdale Avenue, Yonkers,  New  York,
          wherein the rent was reduced due to a diminution of services. 

          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 petition for review.

          On December 1, 1986, the tenant filed an application for  a  rent
          reduction based on the landlord's  failure  to  maintain  certain
          services, to wit:  water seepage  in  the  living  room  ceiling,
          peeling and cracking in the living room wall, and leak damage  in
          the bedroom ceiling.  Earlier, the tenant  had  filed  a  service
          violation complaint with the City of Yonkers.

          On December 24, 1986,  the  Division  of  Housing  and  Community
          Renewal (DHCR) received  the  landlord's  answer.   The  landlord
          alleged that it was initially notified of these service  problems
          when it  received  the  violation  complaint  from  the  City  of
          Yonkers  on  November  24,  1986.   Upon  notice  it  immediately
          investigated.  The landlord further alleged that after its  first
          examination of the subject apartment, the earliest date that  the
          tenant would allow  access  to  make  the  required  repairs  was
          February 16, 1987.

          The tenant, in her reply, stated, among other  things,  that  she
          notified the owner of the conditions months earlier  by  speaking
          to the  landlord's  secretary  and  superintendent.   The  tenant
          attempted to support this assertion by  submitting  documentation
          of service violation complaints filed with the  City  of  Yonkers
          for water seepage in January 1982, July  1984,  and  the  current
          complaint in November 1986.  The January 1982 and the  July  1984
          violation complaints involved separate proceedings which had been 
          finalized.  The tenant further acknowledged  that  she  requested

          BD 810096 RO
          and agreed to February 16,  1987  as  the  earliest  access  date
          repairs could be made after the landlord made its  inspection  of
          November 24, 1986.

          On February 23,  1987,  a  physical  inspection  of  the  subject
          apartment was carried out by DHCR.  The inspector, in his report, 
          noted that:

               1)   the wall in the living room was  water  stained
                    and the plaster and paint was peeling and 

               2)    the  wall  in  the  bedroom  was  cracked  and
                    wallpaper was buckling.

          On March 2, 1987, the Rent Administrator issued  the  order  here
          under review finding that a diminution of services  had  occurred
          and reducing the tenant's rent to the level in  effect  prior  to
          the last guideline increase which commenced before the  effective
          date of the rent reduction.  The  Administrator  determined  that
          the rent reduction was effective January 1, 1987.

          In its petition for administrative review, the landlord  requests
          revocation of the Administrator's order.   The  landlord  repeats
          the allegations made below, namely, that it did not  have  notice
          of the damage until a complaint was filed, and that it  was  then
          denied access  until  February  16,  1987.   Further,  the  owner
          alleges that the Administrator exceeded the scope of the original 
          complaint.  The  landlord  claims  that  the  original  complaint
          enumerated only ceiling damage and not wall damage.  Finally, the 
          landlord contends, in the alternative, that the effective date of 
          the rent reductions should not have been January 1, 1987  because
          of the tenant's denial of access.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of  the  opinion
          that this petition should be granted in part.

          First,  the  landlord  alleges  that  the  Administrator's  order
          exceeds the scope of the complaints enumerated by the tenant.  It 
          must be noted, that service violation complaints filed by tenants 
          with municipalities are separate and  distinct  proceedings  from
          those filed with DHCR.  Accordingly, the complaint filed  by  the
          tenant in this proceeding  with  the  DHCR  is  determinative  of
          whether the Administrator exceeded the scope  of  the  enumerated
          tenant deficiencies.  The tenant's original complaint in the DHCR 
          proceeding stated that in the living room "...the walls near  the
          ceiling are cracked and peeling".  Clearly, the landlord received 
          adequate notice of this complaint and its due process rights were 

          The second element of the  Administrator's  order,  damage  to  a
          bedroom wall, was not  listed  in  tenant's  original  complaint.
          Because the owner received no notice of the damage to  a  bedroom
          wall, that element of the Administrator's order must be deleted.

          The Commissioner finds that  the  properly  determined  remaining
          service deficiency is, in and of itself,  sufficient  to  sustain
          the Administrator's order reducing the rent.

          Second, the landlord  contends,  in  the  alternative,  that  the

          BD 810096 RO
          effective date of the order should have  been  after  access  was
          permitted  by  the  tenant.   The  Commissioner  finds  that  the
          landlord had no  notice  of  the  diminution  of  services  until
          November 24, 1986.  The tenant only  submitted  documentation  of
          separate violation complaints filed  with  the  City  of  Yonkers
          found  in  1982  and  1984.   She  submitted   no   documentation
          corroborating her claim that the landlord,  through  its  agents,
          had notice of  various  service  defects.   Further,  the  tenant
          acknowledges that after the landlord inspected  the  premises  on
          November 24, 1986, it was not permitted access until February 16, 
          1987.  Accordingly, the effective  date  of  the  Administrator's
          order should have been March 1, 1987 and not January 1, 1987.

          THEREFORE, pursuant to the Emergency Tenant  Protection  Act  and
          Tenant Protection Regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  granted
          in part, and that the Administrator's  order  be,  and  the  same
          hereby is, modified so as  to  delete  from  the  Administrator's
          order the element of damage to the bedroom wall and to change the 
          effective date of the Administrator's order from January 1,  1987
          to March 1, 1987 in accordance with this order and  opinion;  and
          it is

          FURTHER ORDERED, that the tenant shall pay any  arrears  in  rent
          arising as a result of this order immediately.

                                                  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