BK 410284 RO

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

          APPEAL OF                            DOCKET NO.: BK 410284 RO
               Maureen Horgan,                 DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR
                                               DOCKET NO.: ZAL 430029-B
                                               TENANTS:             Various


          On November 4, 1987 the above-named owner filed  a  Petition  for
          Administrative  Review  against  an  order  issued  by  the  Rent
          Administrator,  92-31  Union  Hall  Street,  Jamaica,  New   York
          concerning  the   housing   accommodations   known   as   various
          apartments, 361 West 22nd Street, New York, New York wherein  the
          Administrator ordered a rent reduction of one guideline  increase
          based upon a reduction in building-wide services.

          The tenants commenced this proceeding  on  December  5,  1986  by
          filing a complaint  of  a  decrease  in  building-wide  services,
          alleging that the owner had discontinued two services  which  had
          been  provided  for  seventeen  years,  garbage  collection   and
          basement  storage  space.   The  tenants  applied  for   a   rent

          A copy of the complaint was sent to the  owner  on  December  26,

          In answer, the owner affirmed that it had terminated the  alleged
          services but averred that it  had  taken  title  to  the  subject
          premises on July 15, 1986 without notice from  the  prior  owners
          that it would be required to collect  the  garbage  left  outside
          each tenant's door.  The owner further asserted that garbage left 
          in the halls created smells and attracted  rodents.   As  to  the
          basement storage space, the owner stated that  it  had  purchased
          the subject building  with  the  express  purpose  of  using  the
          basement for her own personal use.  There had been no  notice  by
          the prior owners or in the leases that the tenants  had  keys  to
          the basement and had been permitted  to  store  large  pieces  of
          furniture and business equipment there.  The owner asserted  that
          she had been subjected to  tenant  harassment  since  giving  the
          tenants notice to remove their possessions.

          On March 6, 1987, a staff member of the DHCR conducted a physical 
          inspection of the subject premises and confirmed that the garbage 
          service was not being provided and  that  no  storage  space  was
          available to the tenants.

          In the order here under review, finding that  there  had  been  a

          BK 410284 RO
          decrease in services, the Administrator  directed  the  owner  to
          reduce the rent by the most recent guidelines increase.

          In her appeal,  the  owner  alleges  that  no  investigation  was
          conducted  and  that  serious  harassment  by  the  tenants   has
          occurred which is  compelling  the  owner  to  sell  the  subject
          building.  The owner further contends that the prior owner stated 
          that the tenants were not given carte blanch  permission  to  use
          the basement and that two of the  complainants  illegally  stored
          business equipment and supplies there.   The  owner  requested  a
          hearing to resolve the issue.

          The tenants contend that the petition should  be  denied  because
          the owner does  not  have  the  right  to  summarily  discontinue
          services which had been provided for over 20 years.  The  tenants
          also contend that they are not bound by the failure of the  prior
          owner to inform the current  owner  of  the  existence  of  these
          services.  The  tenants  further  allege  that  the  decrease  in
          services was part of a pattern of  harassment  by  the  owner  to
          encourage the tenants to vacate.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be

          Section  2523.4  of  the  Rent  Stabilization  Code  provides  in
          pertinent part that  a  tenant  may  apply  to  the  DHCR  for  a
          reduction of the legal regulated rent  to  the  level  in  effect
          prior to the most recent  guidelines  adjustment,  and  the  DHCR
          shall so reduce the rent for the period for  which  it  is  found
          that the owner has failed to maintain required services which are 
          defined by Code Section 2520.6(r) as  those  services  which  the
          owner was maintaining or was required to  maintain  on  the  base

          In the instant case, a physical  inspection  confirmed  that  the
          owner had terminated garbage pick-up outside each  tenant's  door
          and had locked the tenants out of the basement without  providing
          an alternate storage space.  The owner has not disputed that  the
          services at issue were provided by the prior owner.  Nor has  the
          owner challenged the tenants' contention that  the  services  had
          been provided for over seventeen years.  Pursuant to Code Section 
          2523.4, the  owner  is  required  to  maintain  these  base  date
          services.  The owner has not established a valid reason for their 
          cessation.  Any alleged harassment by either  the  owner  or  the
          tenants is not the proper focus of this proceeding.   

          Finally, with respect to the owner's request for  a  hearing,  it
          is noted that due process  requires  full  consideration  of  all
          issues raised by the parties to  the  administrative  proceeding.
          However, the resolution of  these  issues  does  not  necessarily
          require on oral hearing, which is discretionary and not  mandated
          by law.  The Commissioner finds that  the  evidence  and  written
          submissions  in  the  record  are   sufficient   to   render   an
          administrative determination.

          Since the owner has not established any error in fact or  in  law
          which would require the granting of the appeal, the  Commissioner
          finds that the Administrator correctly determined that the  owner
          had failed to maintain services as required under  the  Code  and

          BK 410284 RO
          correctly reduced the rent.

          This order is without prejudice to the  owner's  right  to  apply
          for a restoration of the rent if the facts so warrant.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with  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,


                                                       JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                       Deputy Commissioner

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