ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS.: BJ 110258 RO & BI 110228 RT



                                  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 NOS.:              
                                                 BJ 110258 RO 
                                              :  BI 110228 RT
             PLAZA REALTY INVESTORS              
                          PETITIONER-OWNER       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S    
                                                 DOCKET NO.:                 
                                                 AC 110761 S
                                             
                                                  
             DORIS STORCH
                          PETITIONER-TENANT   :    
          ------------------------------------X                             

                     ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING OWNER'S PETITION
                       FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW, AND DENYING
                     TENANT'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW 
                                          

               The above-named petitioner-owner and petitioner-tenant filed 
          timely petitions for administrative review of an order issued on 
          September 11, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the 
          housing accommodation known as 65 - 10 108th Street, Queens, New 
          York, Apartment 4-L, wherein the Administrator determined the 
          tenant's complaint of decreased services per Docket No. AC - 110761 
          S.

               The challenged order reduced the tenant's rent based on the 
          results of inspections conducted on October 3, 1986 and February 
          17, 1987 that found bathroom plaster repairs done in an 
          unworkmanlike manner in that plastered surfaces required painting, 
          defects in the sashes,screens and locks of various windows in the 
          bedroom, livingroom, and bathroom, and some missing and/or 
          unmatched kitchen floor tiles.

               The Administrator did not include vermin infestation as a 
          basis for the rent reduction notwithstanding that both inspection 
          reports cited evidence thereof.  The reports did reflect that the 
          owner had addressed the conditions cited by the tenant as giving 
          rise to the problem.  The tenant had complained of a hole under the 
          kitchen sink and of a defective refrigerator tray beneath the 














          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS.: BJ 110258 RO & BI 110228 RT

          freezer that was dripping water in the refrigerator resulting in 
          food spoilage.  The inspectors observed that the hole under the 
          sink had been repaired, that the refrigerator tray had been 
          replaced, and that the refrigerator was operating properly. The 
          inspectors also reported that periodic exterminator services were 
          available.

               The owner's petition points out that the tenant's initial 
          complaint did not concern the defective living room, bedroom and 
          bathroom windows and/or screens, nor the kitchen floor tiles, that 
          these additional items were submitted by the tenant in response to 
          the Administrator's request for additional information, and that 
          the owner was never served with a copy of the notice.  An 
          examination of the record confirms the owner's assertions.

               The owner was therefore denied the opportunity to be heard in 
          these additional service complaints or to correct the conditions.  
          This lack of due process constitutes an irregularity warranting a 
          revocation of conditions as basis for a rent reduction, 
          notwithstanding that they were confirmed on inspection.

               Concerning the bathroom repairs, the owner concedes that these 
          items remained outstanding for some time due to the tenant's lack 
          of cooperation in providing access during working hours.  In 
          support, the owner submitted copies of letters and mailgrams to the 
          tenant reflecting the owner's initiative to schedule appointments, 
          despite the tenant's failure to respond to prior communications.  
          The owner also submitted an affidavit from an employee stating that 
          the bathroom leakage problem, defective plaster and stuck window 
          were corrected.  Also submitted was a paint order, signed by the 
          tenant and dated August 27, 1987, that the entire apartment had 
          been painted.   

               In further support, the owner cites unrelated rent restoration 
          proceedings per Docket No. AL 110076 OR reflecting that a March 20, 
          1987 inspection report of those proceedings indicated, among other 
          items, that the entire apartment had been painted, controverting 
          the February 17, 1987 inspection results in the proceedings herein 
          under appeal.  

               Normally, no rent reduction order is imposed if the 
          Administrator has evidence before the order is issued that services 
          referred to in the complaint have been restored.  The finding of 
          inadequate bathroom wall repairs is, therefore, also revoked as a 
          basis for a rent reduction. 





               As to the tenant's administrative appeal, it is noted that the 
          determination above to revoke the Administrator's order on the 






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS.: BJ 110258 RO & BI 110228 RT

          grounds that the owner was denied due process notice with regard to 
          the complaints of defective windows also compels dismissal of the 
          tenant's claim on appeal that the rent reduction should remain as  
          the livingroom and bathroom windows still do not function properly. 
               
               The tenant's admission on appeal, that the owner provided a 
          working refrigerator in August 1987 which was prior to the date of 
          the Administrator's order, rendered moot the tenant's claim on 
          appeal regarding the allegedly defective refrigerator unit.

               Concerning the tenant's claim that the apartment continued to 
          be roach infested, the owner responded that the tenant failed to 
          provide sufficient access to correct the condition.  In support, 
          the owner submitted an affidavit from the superintendent stating 
          that the tenant had denied the exterminator access on several 
          occasions.  The tenant did not dispute it, suggesting instead that 
          the measures utilized were inadequate.

               Although the tenant permitted the owner to address the 
          conditions cited by the tenant as giving rise to the problem, it 
          appeared that the tenant was reluctant to cooperate with the 
          owner's requests to continue eradication measures.  In this 
          respect, the tenant has an obligation to provide access 
          periodically, and to comply with the owner's reasonable requests to 
          eliminate, where feasible, substances which afford harborage for 
          vermin.  Under the circumstances, a finding of failure to maintain 
          services based on evidence of vermin was not warranted.  The 
          Administrator's determination of the issue was correct. 

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code, it is

               ORDERED, that the owner's petition be granted, in part, to the 
          extent of revoking the Rent Administrator's findings of defective 
          bathroom wall repairs, defective windows, and missing and/or 
          mismatched kitchen floor tiles as bases for a rent reduction.  It 
          is further

               ORDERED, that the tenant's petition be denied.  However, the 
          directive to correct the conditions cited in the Administrator's 
          order is affirmed and failure to do so may subject the owner to 
          appropriate sanctions.  It is further






               ORDERED, that the tenant's rent is restored to pre-reduction 
          levels plus applicable guidelines or other increases.  

          ISSUED:












          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS.: BJ 110258 RO & BI 110228 RT





                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

    

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