BH 810150 RO

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

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. BH 810150 RO
                                              :  DRO DOCKET NO.WY86-S-357-
               RALPH B. CUIFFETELLI                            374-B

                                PETITIONER    : 

               On July 31, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on June 
          26, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, White Plains, New York, 
          concerning the housing accommodations known as 351 North Broadway, 
          Yonkers, New York, Various Apartments, wherein the Rent 
          Administrator determined that the owner had failed to maintain 
          services and accordingly reduced the rents of the subject 

          The Administrative Appeal is being determined pursuant to the 
          provisions of Section 2503.4 of the Tenant Protection Regulations.

          The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's order 
          was warranted.

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

          This proceeding was initiated in September 1986, by the 
          tenants' filing of a Statement of Complaint of a Decrease in 
          Building-Wide Services.  In a response to the tenants' complaint, 
          the owner stated in substance that all of the items listed in the 
          tenants' complaint were in fact being properly maintained.

          On April 3, 1987, an inspection was conducted at the subject 
          premises.  Such inspection indicated that the public halls are 
          littered and have broken glass; that various garage doors are 
          broken; that the gutter above the mail box has holes; that the 
          rear steps leading to the parking area have a drop-off with no 
          protective railing; and that the courtyard has building materials, 
          littered, missing grass and boulders toward the rear with 
          abandoned cars at the rear and the concrete steps leading to the 
          back are weak.

          In Order Number WY86-S-357-374-B, the Rent Administrator, 
          based on the aforementioned physical inspection, found that 
          service decreases had occurred in the subject apartments and 

          BH 810150 RO
          reduced the rent to the level in effect prior to the most recent 
          guideline adjustment effective October 1, 1986.

          In this petition, the owner alleges in substance that the 
          service decreases found during the course of the April 3, 1987 
          inspection, if they did exist, are temporary in nature; that no 
          violations have been issued as a result of numerous inspections by 
          the Yonkers Building Department; that some of the people who 
          signed the tenants' complaint do not reside in the subject 
          premises or could be squatters; that it is irregular that a 
          complaint filed in September 1986, with a subsequent inspection 
          conducted in April 1987, could result in an order; that there was 
          a lack of due process; and that a hearing should have been held.

          In answer to this petition, several tenants stated in 
          substance that many of the conditions complained of have still not 
          been corrected.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should 
          be denied.

          Section 2503.4 of the Tenant Protection Regulations provides 
          in pertinent part that a tenant may apply to the DHCR for a 
          reduction of the legal regulated rent and the DHCR shall so reduce 
          the rent where it is found that the owner has failed to maintain 

          In the instant case, the evidence of record including a 
          physical inspection of the subject premises conducted on April 3, 
          1987, discloses that serious service decreases had occurred in the 
          subject premises warranting a reduction in the rents.  It is noted 
          that in the proceeding before the Rent Administrator, the owner 
          did not contend that some of the people signing the tenants' 
          complaint did not reside in the subject premises or were 
          squatters.  This matter cannot be considered for the first time on 
          appeal since this is not a de novo proceeding.  Moreover, the 
          owner has submitted no evidence in support of this contention nor 
          even specified which individuals did not sign the complaint or 
          were squatters.  The fact that no violations may have been cited 
          by the Yonkers Building Department does not bar the issuance of 
          the rent decrease order herein which was properly based on a DHCR 
          inspection report.  Further, the fact that the order herein was 
          issued after a complaint was filed in September 1986, and an 
          inspection was held in April 1987, is not irregular.  Finally, 
          there was no necessity to conduct a hearing in this case as due 
          process requirements were satisfied by serving the tenants' 
          complaint on the owner and affording him an opportunity to respond 
          to said complaint.  Accordingly, the Rent Administrator's order 
          was warranted.

          This order is issued without prejudice to the owner's right 
          to file a rent restoration application when the required repairs 
          have been completed.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Tenant 

          BH 810150 RO
          Protection Regulations and the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 
          1974, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and 
          the same hereby is, denied, and, that the order of the Rent 
          Administrator be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner



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