BI 410178 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: BI 410178 RO 
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: BD 510088 HW

               On September 14, 1987, the above named petitioner-owner filed 
          a Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued August 11, 1987.  The order concerned housing 
          accommodations known as Apt 3D located at 138 West 133rd Street, 
          New York, N.Y.  The Administrator ordered a rent reduction for 
          failure to maintain adequate hot water 

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

               The tenant commenced this proceeding by filing a Statement of 
          Complaint of Decrease in Services on April 15, 1987 wherein he 
          alleged, inter alia, that there was intermittent heat and hot water 
          in his apartment.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on May 27, 
          1987 and stated, in relevant part, that the boiler coil was 
          defective but had been repaired.  This repair caused a temporary 
          disruption of heat and hot water service but the owner stated that 
          the interruption was not long.
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          apartment.  The inspection was conducted on July 7, 1987 and 
          revealed that the hot water temperature was 112 degrees and that 
          heat was not required at the time of the inspection.

               Based on the inspector's report, the Administrator issued the 
          order here under review on August 11, 1987 and ordered a rent 
          reduction to the level in effect prior to the most recent guideline 

          BI 410178 RO

               On appeal the owner states the following:

                    1.   When the inspector appeared at the building the 
                         boiler was being serviced  by a plumbing and 
                         heating company and the inspector observed the 
                         repairs in progress,

                    2.   The boiler is covered by a repair contract and the 
                         repairs being done at the time of the inspection 
                         were recommended by the company from whom the owner 
                         bought the boiler,

                    3.   A roll-back of the tenant's rent would jeopardize 
                         the ability of the owner to meet expenses

                    4.   A nonpayment proceeding against the tenant is 
                         pending in New York City Housing Court and the 
                         tenant has not alleged intermittent heat and hot 
                         water in that proceeding

               The tenant filed a response on December 13, 1987 wherein he 
          stated that adequate hot water still had not been restored.

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

               With regard to the owner's assertion that the lack of adequate 
          hot water was caused by repairs being made at the time of the 
          inspection, the Commissioner notes that the inspector did not 
          report any such repairs despite the owner's claim that the 
          inspector was aware of said repairs.  Moreover, the owner did not 
          submit any evidence to establish the date the alleged work on the 
          boiler was done.  The Commissioner also notes that the tenant's 
          response to the petition specifically states that adequate hot 
          water had still not been restored.  

               With regard to the issues of financial hardship and the 
          nonpayment proceeding, the Commissioner notes that neither is an 
          adequate defense to the owner's failure to maintain services.  
          Pursuant to 9 NYCRR 2523.4 the Administrator was required to reduce 
          the rent based on the finding that the owner had failed to maintain 
          required services.  Adequate hot water is a required service.  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 July 7, 1987.  The order here 
          under review was correctly issued and is, therefore, affirmed.

               The owner may file for rent restoration when services have 
          been fully restored.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it 

          BI 410178 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.


                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Acting Deputy Commissioner


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