BI 430111 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 430111 RO
                                                  
               BRADFORD N. SWETT ASSOCIATES       RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: AA 500063 B
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                          
               On September 17, 1987 the above named petitioner-owner filed 
          a Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued August 14, 1987.  The order concerned housing 
          accommodations located at 31 Tiemann Place, 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.

               This proceeding was commenced on January 20, 1986 when 9 of 
          the 46 tenants joined in filing a Statement of Complaint of 
          Decrease in Building-Wide Services wherein they alleged the 
          following services deficiencies:

                    1.   Porter no longer available resulting in decreased 
                         maintenance to public areas,

                    2.   Decrease in laundry room hours,

                    3.   Interior walls cracking, leaking water, shifting, 
                         bulging and plaster crumbling,

                    4.   Floors rotting, missing tiles, sinking and 
                         splintering,

                    5.   Building exterior bricks not secure, leaking water, 
                         rotting window frames, insecure grill work  
                         and fire escape rusting,

                    6.   Window frames rotted, immobile windows, panes loose 












          BI 430111 RO

                    without frames, drafty or warped frames, broken 
                         panes,

                    7.   Apartment doors not secure in frames with some not 
                         swinging freely, some doors not fireproof, 
                         inoperative locks, no numbers,

                    8.   Electricity insufficient, broken outlets in walls 
                         and ceiling, inadequate apartment wiring,

                    9.   Plumbing inadequate with poor sink and tub 
                         drainage, sinks detaching from wall, and loose, 
                         cracked and leaking toilets and sinks,

                   10.   Elevator unsafe, stops unevenly and shakes with 
                         doors not always closing,

                   11.   Mailbox locks insecure,

                   12.   Malfunctioning intercoms,

                   13.   Fire alarms insufficient and broken,

                   14.   Water discolored with fluctuating pressure for both 
                         hot and cold water,

                   15.   Boiler not functioning properly,

                   16.   Fire exits locked,

                   17.   Mice and roach infestation and extermination 
                         notices not posted or hours inconvenient.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on March 3, 
          1986 and stated, in substance, that services were being maintained.  
          The owner attached copies of paid bills which were offered to show 
          the fact that repairs had been made to the building on a continuing 
          basis.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          building.  Inspections were conducted on November 18, 1986 and 
          April 21, 1987 and revealed that the windows on the fifth and third 
          floors were separated from their frames.  
                                                                             
               The Administrator issued the order here under review on August 
          14, 1987 and ordered a rent reduction of $3.00 per month for rent 
          controlled tenants based on the inspector's report.  

               On appeal the owner, through counsel, states that it was 
          denied due process based on the failure to give it notice of the 
          inspection and a copy of the inspector's report.  The owner further 






          BI 430111 RO

          states that the order here under review is defective because it 
          does not indicate which tenants were affected by the service 
          decrease and order a rent reduction only for those tenants.  
          Finally, the owner argues that the services reduction found by the 
          Administrator was too minor to warrant a rent reduction.  The 
          tenant did not file a response.                 
           
               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 contention that it was entitled to 
          notice of the inspection and a copy of the inspector's report, DHCR 
          policy, as upheld by the courts, is that the filing of the 
          complaint puts the owner on adequate notice of the existence of 
          services deficiencies and the need to investigate. (see Empress 
          Manor Apartments v. DHCR 538 N.Y.S.2d 49, 2nd. Dept. [1989]).  The 
          owner was afforded due process by the proper service of the tenants 
          complaint.

               With regard to the owner's assertion that the tenants must be 
          directly affected by the services defect to qualify for a rent 
          reduction, the Commissioner finds that all tenants are entitled to 
          the continued maintenance of public areas including the windows and 
          are affected by the failure to maintain same. No further finding is 
          required.  The Administrator correctly ordered a rent reduction for 
          all rent controlled tenants based on the report of the inspector.

               Finally, with regard to the alleged de minimis nature of the 
          services defect, prior orders of the Commissioner have held that 
          defective public area windows are a proper subject for a rent 
          reduction order based on a finding of decreased building-wide 
          services (see e.g. Docket Nos. ARL 10099 L; ART 05395 K). 

               Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction 
          Regulations for New York City the Administrator was empowered to 
          order a rent reduction based on the reasonable exercise of 
          discretion, upon finding that the owner was failing to maintain 
          required or essential services.  It is not required that each rent 
          controlled tenant who was granted a rent reduction have 
          specifically applied for one.  The rent reduction is to approximate 
          the reduction in rental value due to the decrease in services.  The 
          Commissioner finds that the Administrator correctly reduced the 
          rent based on the entire record and did not abuse discretion in 
          ordering a $3.00 per month rent reduction.  The order here under 
          review is affirmed.

               The owner may apply for rent restoration when services have 
          been fully restored.
               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent and Eviction Regulations for 
          New York City it is 

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 












          BI 430111 RO

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

          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