ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: BK 430147 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  S.J.R. 6319 REMIT
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.:              
                                                 BK 430147 RO 
                                              :  
                                                 
                                                 RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S    
                                                 DOCKET NO.:                 
                                                 AC 430052 B
                CHRIS MAC CO.,                              
                                                  

                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X                             

            ORDER AND OPINION REMANDING PROCEEDING TO RENT ADMINISTRATOR


               On November 4, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          petition for administrative review of an order issued on September 
          30, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing 
          accommodation known as 87 Christopher Street, New York, N. Y., 
          various apartments, wherein the Administrator determined that 
          certain services were not being provided or maintained and as a 
          result reduced the rents of various apartments in the subject 
          building.

               On January 31, 1992, the Commissioner issued an order and 
          opinion granting the owner's petition and revoking the rent 
          reduction because the record confirmed the owner's allegation that 
          it did not receive a copy of the tenants' complaint.

               Subsequent thereto, the tenants sought judicial review of the 
          Commissioner's order pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice 
          Law and Rules.  In an order dated October 9, 1992, the matter was 
          remitted to the Division on consent for further processing. 

               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.  


















          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: BK 430147 RO

               A review of the record reveals that a complaint alleging a 
          decrease in building-wide services and requesting a rent reduction 
          was filed on March 14, 1986.  The complaint was signed by tenants 
          of 17 of the 20 apartments in the building and alleged a flooded 
          courtyard, defective mailboxes, lack of access to fuses in cellar, 
          inadequate cold water pressure, dirty air shafts, hall stairways in 
          disrepair, sealed roof exit windows, defective fire escapes and 
          drop ladders, defective windows, infestation, inferior back 
          exterior door, inoperative buzzers, and broken air shaft windows. 

               There is no transmittal notice in the record to establish that 
          the complaint was mailed to the owner and there is no answer.

               Physical inspections of the subject premises on June 20, 1986 
          and February 3, 1987 confirmed the existence of: 

                    1. Defective backyard cement due to water in backyard.
                    2. Defective mailboxes.
                    3. Air shaft requires cleaning.
                    4. Defective third floor hallway steps.
                    5. Air shaft windows requires repair.

               Based on these inspections the Administrator ordered a $14.00 
          per month rent reduction for rent controlled tenants effective the 
          first rent payment following issuance of the order, and a guideline 
          reduction for rent stabilized tenants effective May 1, 1986.

               In the petition for administrative review, the owner assures 
          that it had no notice of this proceeding and that all repairs have 
          now been completed. 

               Several tenants answered the petition in January 1988 and 
          agreed that new mailboxes had been installed but asserted that no 
          other repairs had been done.

               After careful reconsideration of the entire evidence of 
          record, the Commissioner is of the opinion that this proceeding 
          should be remanded to the Administrator for a physical inspection 
          to determine current conditions and for referral to the Hearings 
          Bureau for a hearing on the issue of when the conditions cited in 
          the Administrator's order were actually corrected.   

               Although the Commissioner properly determined that it was a 
          violation of the owner's due process rights to order a building- 
          wide rent reduction when the owner had never been served with the 
          complaint, it was a violation of the tenants' rights to revoke the
          rent reduction entirely when the lack of notice to the owner was 



          caused by the Division's error.  The tenants were entitled to a 
          rent reduction pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization 






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: BK 430147 RO

          Code and Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations based 
          on the finding that required or essential services were not being 
          maintained.

               Since the owner received actual notice of the conditions to be 
          repaired when the Administrator's rent reduction order was issued 
          on September 30, 1987, that order should be equated with service of 
          a complaint.  As with the service of any other complaint alleging 
          a failure to maintain services, if the owner promptly makes the 
          necessary repairs, and a physical inspection confirms that all 
          defective conditions alleged in the complaint have been corrected, 
          then no rent reduction will be ordered.  Affording the owner herein 
          the same rights, the hearing to be conducted on remand should 
          elicit testimony regarding the date the services listed in the 
          Administrator's September 30, 1987 order were actually restored.  
          If it is determined that all repairs were completed within 90 days 
          of September 30, 1987, then no rent reduction should be ordered.  
          The 90 day time period is deemed appropriate because it 
          approximates the time period between the filing of the actual 
          complaint on March 14, 1986 and the first inspection on June 20, 
          1986.  If it is determined that the defective conditions were not  
          corrected within 90 days, then the rent for the three rent 
          stabilized tenants (Paris-Apts. 7 & 8, Moscola-Apt. 4, and Fowler- 
          Apt. 11) who signed the complaint should be reduced to the level in 
          effect prior to the last rent guidelines increases effective 
          October 1, 1987, the first of the month following issuance of the 
          Rent Administrator's order.  The maximum legal rent of all rent 
          controlled tenants in the building should be reduced by $14.00 per 
          month, also effective October 1, 1987, as provided for in the 
          Administrator's order.

               It is noted that the owner neglected to file a rent 
          restoration application during the time that the rent reductions 
          were ordered by the Administrator on September 30, 1987 until they 
          were revoked by the January 31, 1992 Commissioner's order.  If it 
          is determined on remand that a rent reduction is warranted, then 
          the rents should also be restored as of the date that the evidence 
          indicates that services were restored, but not before January 31 
          1992, so as not to reward the owner for failing to apply for 
          restoration.  (Once the rent reductions were revoked by the 
          Commissioner's January 31, 1992 order, the owner had no reason to 
          file such an application.)  

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and 
          Code and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it is



               ORDERED, that this proceeding be and the same hereby is 
          remanded to the Administrator for further processing in accordance 
          with this order and opinion. The Rent Administrator's order issued 
          on September 30, 1987 under Docket No. AC 530052-B remains revoked, 












          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: BK 430147 RO

          pending a new determination on remand. 

          ISSUED:


                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

    

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