BI 410177 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.: BI 410177 RO
                                                  
               NORMAN GARDNER                     DISTRICT RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: AI 410728 S
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                  IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

               On September 7, 1987 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued August 4, 1987. The order concerned housing 
          accommodations known as Apt. 5C, located at 36 West 56th Street, 
          New York, N.Y.  The Administrator ordered a 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.

               The tenant commenced this proceeding by filing a Statement of 
          Complaint of Decrease in Services on September 15, 1986 wherein she 
          alleged the following services deficiencies:

                    1.   Hot water provided on sporadic basis

                    2.   Roof leaking causing damage to apartment walls, 
                         ceilings and furniture

                    3.   Broken windows

                    4.   Apartment in need of painting

                    5.   Electricity often interrupted


               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on November 
          5, 1986 and stated that:

                    1.   There had been no interruption in hot water service,












          BI 410177 RO

                    2.   The building contains a new roof and any leaks are 
                    immediately fixed.  Furthermore, the tenant has 
                    never reported the existence of leaks,

                    3.   The tenant never asked him to paint the apartment 
                         and he is not legally obligated to paint since the 
                         tenant does not have a lease to the apartment.
                        
                    4.   Any interruption of electricity in the apartment 
                         was through no fault of his.                 
           
          The owner also stated that the hot water complaint was being 
          processed in a proceeding bearing Docket No AJ 420004 HW.

               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          apartment.  The inspection was conducted on February 10, 1987 and 
          revealed the following:

                    1.   Leak damage to ceiling and walls throughout 
                         apartment,

                    2.   Five broken windows,

                    3.   Peeling paint and plaster throughout apartment; 
                         apartment in need of painting.
                                                                    
               The Administrator issued an order on August 4, 1987 and 
          ordered a rent reduction of $60.50 per month based on the 
          inspector's report.  On September 1, 1987 the Administrator issued 
          an Amended Order which corrected a typographical error in the 
          original order.  The order was made effective the first rent 
          payment date after August 4, 1987.

               On appeal the owner states the following:

                    1.   The apartment is not rent controlled, as it was 
                         ordered decontrolled by an order of the 
                         Commissioner dated July 2, 1986.  Therefore, the 
                         order is incorrect to the extent it orders a rent 
                         reduction of a specific dollar amount.

                    2.   The apartment is in need of a paint job but the 
                         tenant does not have a lease.  Therefore, the owner 
                         states that he is not statutorily required to 
                         paint.  With regard to the windows, the owner 
                         states that they are not broken but cracked.  It is 
                         the owner's contention that cracked windows do not 
                         merit a rent reduction.

          The owner's third argument was addressed by the Administrator when 
          the amended order was issued.  The amendment corrected the 
          typographical error the owner speaks of, which involved the amount 






          BI 410177 RO

          of the rent reduction.

               The tenant did not respond to the petition.        

               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted 
          in part and the order modified and, as so modified, affirmed.

               The Commissioner notes that, on July 2, 1986, an order bearing 
          Docket No. CPLA 33,545 was issued by the Commissioner.  The 
          Commissioner ruled that the apartment in question became rent 
          stabilized on July 1, 1974 pursuant to the provisions of the 
          Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974.  Therefore, the owner is 
          correct in his assertion that the order here under review is 
          defective to the extent that it orders a monetary rent reduction 
          effective the first rent payment date following August 4, 1987.

               The owner's assertion that he is not legally obligated to 
          paint the apartment until the tenant signs a lease is without 
          merit.  The obligation to paint every three years is contained in 
          the Housing Maintenance Code and is not contingent upon the 
          existence of a lease.  Moreover, Section 2520.6 (r) of the Rent 
          Stabilization Code defines required services as "that space and 
          those services which the owner was maintaining or was required to 
          maintain on the applicable base date...and any additional space or 
          services provided or required to be provided thereafter by 
          applicable law.  These may include, but are not limited to... 
          repairs, decorating and maintenance..."  In view of the 
          aforementioned determination by the Commissioner that the subject 
          apartment is stabilized, painting is a service required by 
          applicable law regardless of whether the parties have entered into 
          a lease.  

               The owner's statement that the windows were cracked and not 
          broken, is totally without merit or legal significance.  The 
          inspector's report clearly stated that the windows were broken and 
          cracked in several places and it is settled that this report is 
          entitled to more probative weight than the unsupported assertions 
          of the owner.  Even assuming that the windows were found to be 
          cracked, such a finding would be legally sufficient on which to 
          premise the granting of a rent reduction pursuant to Section 2523.4 
          which mandates a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant, 
          based on a finding that the owner has failed to maintain required 
          services .

               With regard to the remedy for the defect herein found in the 
          order, the Commissioner modifies the order to provide for a rent 
          reduction of the most recent guideline adjustment.  The rent 
          reduction is to be effective the first rent payment date following 
          October 21, 1986.  This is in keeping with DHCR policy making a 
          rent reduction for a rent stabilized tenant effective the first 
          rent payment date following service of the complaint on the owner.












          BI 410177 RO


               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it 
          is 

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted in part, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and 
          the same hereby is, affirmed as modified herein.

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Acting 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