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

     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: BK 230073-RO
                                            DRO DOCKET NO.: BB 230068-B
          TOM VITTA,
                           PETITIONER    : 


     On November 30, 1987 the above named petitioner-owner filed a Petition for 
     Administrative Review against an order issued on November 6, 1987  by  the
     Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York  concerning
     housing accommodations known as 217  Quentin  Road,  Brooklyn,  New  York,
     various accommodations.

     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 commenced on February  12,  1987  by  various  tenants
     filing a complaint of a decrease in building-wide services alleging, among 
     other things, that the ground floor  radiators  were  not  attached,  some
     steps were loose and/or cracked and there were dogs in the  basement  that
     howled all night.

     In response the owner asserted, among other things, that the ground  floor
     radiators were reconnected by the superintendent, all  loose  and  cracked
     steps were repaired and the  dog  which  was  kept  in  the  basement  for
     security had been removed.  The tenants subsequently  confirmed  that  the
     dog had been removed.

     On may 1, 1987 a physical inspection of the subject premises was conducted 
     which revealed, among other things, that the  ground  floor  radiator  was
     defective, there was one cracked public hall step on the first floor,  the
     basement was dirty and there was no dog in the basement.

     In the herein appealed order the Administrator determined that  the  owner
     was not  maintaining  services  based  on  the  inspection,  directed  the
     restoration of services, reduced the rents of the rent controlled  tenants
     involved in the proceeding by $5.50 (defective  radiator:  $2.00,  cracked
     step: $2.00, dirty basement: $1.50) per month, effective  the  first  rent
     payment date following the issue date of the order and reduced  the  rents
     of the rent stabilized tenants involved in the proceeding to the level  in
     effect prior to the last guideline increase which commenced  before  April
     1, 1987, the effective date of the order.


          DOCKET NUMBER: BK 230073-RO
     In this petition the owner contends that the  ground  floor  radiator  was
     recently inspected by the superintendent and found to be in proper working 
     order,  the  radiator  service  was  not  supplied  during   the   initial
     registration and therefore it is not a required service, the step with the 
     "hairline" crack was secure, posed no safety threat, was  a  minor  repair
     and did not warrant a rent reduction, and the tenants' complaint  did  not
     indicate a dirty basement.  The owner submitted a  copy  of  an  affidavit
     from the superintendent stating that the radiator was working.

     Two tenants submitted answers to the petition asserting that the owner had 
     not restored services indicated in the Administrator's order and  was  not
     maintaining other services.

     The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be granted in 

     Section 2205.1 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations requires an  owner  to
     maintain essential services, defined in Section 2200.3 to include  repairs
     and maintenance.  Sections 2202.16 of the Regulations provides that if the 
     owner fails to maintain essential services,  the  Rent  Administrator  may
     order a decrease in maximum rent in an amount which the Administrator,  in
     his discretion, may determine.

     Section 2525.2 of  the  Rent  Stabilization  Code  requires  an  owner  to
     maintain services, defined  in  Section  2520.6  to  include  repairs  and
     maintenance.  Section 2523.4 of the Code provides that a tenant may  apply
     to the Division for a reduction of rent and the Division shall  so  reduce
     the rent based on  a  finding  that  the  owner  has  failed  to  maintain

     In the instant case the evidence of record, which  includes  the  physical
     inspection of the  subject  premises,  disclosed  that  the  ground  floor
     radiator was defective and  one  public  hall  step  was  cracked.   Based
     thereon, the Administrator properly determined  that  the  owner  was  not
     maintaining services and properly reduced the tenants' rents.

     Regarding the owner's contention that the  ground  floor  radiator  is  in
     proper working order, the  Commissioner  notes  that  the  owner  has  not
     submitted evidence sufficient to substantiate this  contention.   However,
     this Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the owner's right to 
     file the appropriate application for a restoration of rent, if  the  facts
     so warrant.
     Regarding the owner's contention that the ground floor hall  radiator  was
     not a required service since it was not supplied at the time  the  initial
     registration was required,  Section  2520.6  of  the  Code  provides  that
     required services are those services furnished or required to be furnished 
     to continuously stabilized housing accommodations on May 31, 1968 and  all
     additional services  provided  or  required  to  be  provided  thereafter.
     Section 26-517 of  the  Rent  Stabilization  Law  only  provided  for  the
     registration of information with the DHCR including services provided on 


          DOCKET NUMBER: BK 230073-RO
     April 1, 1984, and in any event, an  owner  cannot  rely  on  a  defective
     condition on  the  base  date  to  evade  the  responsibility  to  provide

     Accordingly,  the  Commissioner  finds  that  the  owner's  contention  is
     without merit.

     Regarding the owner's contention that a rent reduction was  not  warranted
     for the public hall step, the physical inspection disclosed that step  was
     cracked and the owner acknowledged  in  his  appeal  that  this  condition
     existed.  The owner has not submitted any  evidence  to  substantiate  his
     contention  that  the  cracked  step  is   a   minor   repair   condition.
     Accordingly,  the  Commissioner  finds  that  the  Administrator  properly
     determined that a rent reduction was warranted.

     Regarding the owner's contention that the tenants did not complain about a 
     dirty basement, a review of the record reveals that  this  allegation  was
     not  raised  in  the  tenants'  original  complaint.    Accordingly,   the
     Commissioner finds that the reference to  the  dirty  basement  should  be
     deleted  from  the  Administrator's  order.   For  the   rent   controlled
     apartments involved in this proceeding that part  of  the  rent  reduction
     based on the dirty basement ($1.50 per month) is hereby be  revoked.   For
     the rent stabilized apartments involved in this  proceeding,  since  other
     service decreases still exist, the rent reduction remains in effect.

     This order is issued without prejudice  to  the  tenants'  filing  another
     application for a  rent  decrease  due  to  any  current  service  problem
     including a dirty basement.

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent and Eviction  Regulations  and  the
     Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is

     ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,  denied,  and  the
     Rent Administrator's order  be,  and  the  same  hereby  is,  modified  in
     accordance with this Order and Opinion.


                                             ELLIOT SANDER
                                           Deputy Commissioner


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