BK 410350-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 410350-RO
                 PHILIP                      J.                       RUDD,
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.  
                                  PETITIONER      BC 410263-S


          On November 24, 1987, the above-named owner filed a petition  for
          administrative review of an order issued on October 20, 1987   by
          a District Rent Administrator concerning t e  housing  accommoda-
          tions, known as Apartment 1-R, 12 1/2 West 10th Street, New York, 
          New York.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record  and
          has carefully considered that portion of the record  relevant  to
          the issues raised by the petition for review.

          This proceeding was commenced by the filing of an application  by
          the tenant on November 24, 1987 for a reduction in rent based  on
          the owner's alleged failure to maintain services in  the  subject
          apartment.  More specifically, the tenant, in substance, asserted 
          that the smokestack for the  subject  apartment's  fireplace  had
          deteriorated and was removed but had never  been  replaced.   The
          tenant requested that the smokestack be replaced or the rent  re-
          duced accordingly.

          In his answer, which was not received by the  Rent  Administrator
          below, the owner asserted, in pertinent part, that a  functioning
          fireplace is not a required service for  the  subject  apartment,
          and he requested that the complaint be dismissed.

          An inspection of the subject apartment was conducted on July  23,
          1987 by a rent agency inspector, who confirmed  that  the  smoke-
          stack had been removed from the subject apartment's  chimney  and
          that the hole where the smokestack had  been  was  covered  over,
          preventing the use of the fireplace.

          On October 20, 1987 the Rent Administrator issued the order  here
          under review in which the owner was directed to restore the 
          smokestack so that the subject tenant could use her fireplace.

          BK 410350-RO

          In his petition for administrative review, the owner asserts,  in
          pertinent part that a working fireplace is not a base  date  ser-
          vice for the subject apartment and therefore is  not  a  required

          In her answer, the tenant asserts, in pertinent  part,  that  the
          fireplace in the subject apartment  was  in  excellent  condition
          when she first took occupancy (February 1973).

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of  the  opinion
          that this petition should be denied.

          The record reveals that the subject tenant, in substance, asserts 
          that the fireplace was working when she originally took occupancy 
          in February 1973 and that the other fireplaces  in  the  building
          are functioning.  Although the owner's  answer  to  the  tenant's
          original complaint was not considered when  this  proceeding  was
          before the Rent Administrator, his answer is  considered  herein.
          In his answer the owner disputed the tenant's  assertion  stating
          that the fireplace is  not  a  required  service.   However,  the
          owner, in his petition, asserts,  in  pertinent  part,  that  the
          prior owner's representative informed him that the fireplace  was
          not in working order in November 1974.   The  Commissioner  notes
          that not only is  the  current  owner's  assertion  derived  from
          another's statement and that  the  owner  has  not  submitted  an
          affidavit of the prior  owner  to  this  effect,  but  that  this
          assertion does not serve  to  prove  whether  the  fireplace  was
          working on the May 29, 1974 base date, nor does it  show  whether
          it was a required service at that time.  Based  upon  the  entire
          evidence of record, the Commissioner finds that  a  preponderance
          of the evidence  indicates  that  the  fireplace  is  a  required
          service for the subject apartment.  Accordingly, the Commissioner 
          is of the opinion that the order of the Rent Administrator should 
          be affirmed.

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

          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.


                                                ELLIOT SANDER
                                                Deputy Commissioner

          BK 410350-RO

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