BE 630309 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433


          ----------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: BE 630309 RO
                                                  
               2155 REALTY CORP.                  DISTRICT RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: AG 630125 B
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                          
                    On May 20, 1987 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued April 14, 1987. The order concerned housing 
          accommodations located at 3150 Roberts Avenue, Bronx, N.Y.  The 
          Administrator ordered a building-wide rent reduction for failure to 
          maintain required services.  

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 
          appeal.

               This proceeding was commenced on July 28, 1986 when 42 tenants 
          joined in the filing of a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in 
          Building-Wide Services wherein they alleged the following services 
          deficiencies:

                    1.   Water leaks causing damage to ceilings and walls; 
                         bricks in need of weatherproofing and pointing

                    2.   Roof door in need of repair

                    3.   Roof exits not lighted; no fire exits for "L" and 
                         "M" lines; "G" lines fire escapes pulling away from 
                         roof wall

                    4.   Elevator does not stop level at all floors and does 
                         not contain inspection sticker; elevator lobby 
                         indicator system in need of repair as well as third 
                         floor button and light

                    5.   Broken hall window chains on Apts. 4G and 3D side

                    6.   First door entering lobby has broken glass and 












          BE 630309 RO

                    missing knob; doors do not close properly; names on 
                         bells missing

                    7.   Lobby lights missing

                    8.   Graffiti and vandalism

                    9.   Superintendent unavailable

                   10.   Tenants must wait inordinate amount of time for 
                         repairs

                   11.   Roach infestation

                   12.   Smoke and soot coming from boiler into hallways and 
                         apartments; inadequate heat and hot water

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on September 
          5, 1986 wherein it asserted that the building had been pointed and 
          waterproofed, the roof had been repaired, and a new boiler had been 
          installed.  The owner also stated the roof doors would be checked 
          and repaired, that roof exit lights are not required, and that the 
          elevator had been completely removed. It submitted a contract it 
          had entered into for the installation of an intercom system, as 
          well as a proposal by a boiler repairer for the installation of 
          smoke alarms, pre- heaters, oil lines, and boiler room ventilation.  
          Finally, the owner submitted an agreement with a contractor for the 
          waterproofing and pointing of the south and west building walls.  
          The tenants filed a reply on October 4, 1986 and, in sum, 
          reaffirmed the allegations contained in the complaint.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          apartment.  The inspection was conducted on October 22, 1986 and 
          revealed the following:

                    1.   Hall window chains broken in area of 4G and 3D

                    2.   One lobby wall light broken

                    3.   Graffiti on 5th floor wall as well as 1st, 2nd and 
                         4th floor stairwell

          The following services were found to have been maintained:

                    1.   No evidence of leak damage in public areas

                    2.   Elevator operating properly 

                    3.   No evidence of broken glass in lobby door; door 
                         knob functioning







          BE 630309 RO

                    4.   Names present on bell plates at time of inspection

                    5.   No evidence of roach infestation

                    6.   No evidence of soot in public areas.

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on April 
          14, 1987 and ordered a rent reduction of $9.00 per month for rent 
          controlled tenants and the most recent guideline adjustment for 
          rent stabilized tenants.  The Commissioner notes that the owner has 
          filed for rent restoration (see Docket No. GC 130177 OR).

               On appeal the owner, through counsel, states that the lobby 
          light and hallway window chains are minor service defects not 
          warranting a rent reduction and that graffiti is an aesthetic 
          condition and not a reduction in required services.  The tenants 
          filed a response on September 28, 1987 wherein they alleged that 
          services had not been restored.  They also took issue with the 
          owner's characterization of the defective window chains as "minor", 
          stating that they posed a safety hazard   

                    After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

               The Commissioner notes that the scope of review in an 
          administrative appeal is limited to facts or evidence presented 
          before the Rent Administrator.  The owner failed to raise these 
          defenses in its answer to the complaint despite the fact that the 
          tenants specifically set out graffiti, broken lobby lights and 
          defective hallway window chains in their complaint.  Therefore, the 
          owner cannot now raise these defenses, for the first time, before 
          the Commissioner.

               Pursuant to 9 NYCRR 2523.4 (a) a tenant may apply to the DHCR 
          for a rent reduction and such a reduction shall be granted for the 
          period for which it is found that the owner failed to maintain 
          required services.  Required services are defined in 9 NYCRR 2520.6 
          (r) to include repairs and maintenance.  Pursuant to ( NYCRR 
          2202.16 if an owner fails to maintain required services, the Rent 
          Administrator may order a decrease in the maximum rent in an amount 
          determined by the reasonable exercise of discretion.

               The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based 
          the determination on the entire record including the results of the 
          on-site physical inspection conducted on October 22, 1986.  The 
          Administrator properly determined that a rent reduction was 
          warranted based on the conditions cited by the tenants in the 
          complaint and reported by the inspector.  
                    
               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and 
          Rent and Eviction Regulations it is 









          BE 630309 RO

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

          ISSUED:



                                                                   
                                   JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Acting Deputy Commissioner
    

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