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.: BH-420315-RO
S.J. LANDAU CORPORATION, : RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
: DOCKET NO.: AL-410150-S
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On August 14, 1987, the above-named owner-petitioner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review of an order issued on July 31,
1987 by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica,
NY, concerning the housing accommodation known as 990 Sixth Avenue,
Apt. 19B, New York, NY, wherein the Administrator ordered a rent
reduction based on a finding of a decrease in services.
The issue in this appeal is whether the Administrator's order
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 administrative appeal.
This proceeding was commenced on December 2, 1986 by the
subject rent stabilized tenants filing an individual complaint of
decrease in services alleging, among other things, that the windows
were not properly maintained (no window treatments or cleaning);
that the foyer light was too close to the apartment entrance door;
and, that there was no electrical outlet in the bedroom.
On January 1, 1987, the Division sent the owner a copy of the
complaint and the owner filed an answer advising that window shades
were being supplied and the tenants could arrange to have their
windows cleaned at a charge; and that, as to the foyer light and
bedroom outlet, the tenants were asked to contact the
superintendent about construction errors, and repairs to such items
would be made by the super or the construction trades if reported.
On March 24, 1987, a Division staff member made a physical
inspection of the subject apartment and reported, among other
things, that there was a cracked window in the bedroom; that the
foyer light was too close to the apartment entrance door (i.e. the
door hit, and broke, the bulb when opened); and that there was
neither a receptacle nor a cover plate for the bedroom electrical
outlet and no appliances could be plugged into it.
On July 31, 1987, the Administrator issued the order hereunder
review, reducing the tenant's rent to the level that was in effect
prior to the last rent guidelines increase, effective February 1,
1987, based on a finding of a decrease in services, citing the
above-mentioned items in the inspector's report.
In the petition for administrative review (PAR), the owner
again states that the tenants were asked to inform the super about
any defective conditions whereupon repairs would have been made by
either the super or the building trades, and all problems were
remedied many months ago and reflect normal problems confronted by
first tenants in a new building.
The tenants did not file an answer to the owner's PAR.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that the owner's petition
should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 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
which it is found that the owner has failed to maintain required
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include
repairs and maintenance.
Review of the evidence of record shows that the Administrator
based his determination on the entire record, including the results
of the Division's March 24, 1987 inspection report which
identified, and corroborated, the tenants' claims in the complaint.
Therefore, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator correctly
determined that the owner had failed to maintain services and
properly reduced the tenant's rent.
The assertion that the tenants were asked to inform the super
about defective conditions to facilitate repairs does not establish
error. The record discloses that the Division forwarded the
tenants' complaint to the owner on January 7, 1987, affording the
owner notice of the conditions cited in the order. As such the
owner had six (6) months in which to make repairs prior to the
issuance of the order appealed from.
The further claim that the problems were remedied many months
ago was not substantiated in the proceeding before the
Administrator and therefore fails to refute the inspector's
findings to the contrary.
The Division's records reveal that the owner's rent
restoration application was filed on September 21, 1992 and is
currently pending (DRO Docket No. GI-410196-OR). The rent
reduction remains in effect until an order restoring rent is issued
by the DHCR.
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 Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner