STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE
APPEALS OF : Administrative Review Docket
IRVING STERN, District Rent Administrator's
Docket No.: AG-430087-B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On November 1 and 10, 1987, the above-named owner filed Petitions
for Administrative Review of an order issued on October 8, 1987, by the
Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodations known as 305
West 71st Street, New York, New York, various apartments, wherein rent
was reduced due to a diminution of service.
The petitions have been consolidated for disposition as they
involve similar issues of law and fact.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record
and has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the administrative appeals.
This proceeding was commenced on July 30, 1986 by the rent
stabilized and rent controlled tenants filing a complaint of decreased
services building-wide, alleging, among other things, defective central
air conditioning and defective janitorial services.
Docket Nos. BK-430351-RO and BK-430372-RO
On August 22, 1986, the Division sent the owner a copy of the
complaint and the owner interposed an answer, wherein he alleged, that
the central air conditioning was the subject of a pending "Application
for Modification of Services", and that the remaining complaints were
On October 14, 1986 and December 22, 1986 a physical inspection of
the subject apartment was carried out by the Division of Housing and
Community Renewal (DHCR). The inspector, in his report, noted that the
complained of conditions were as alleged by the tenant.
Subsequently, the Administrator issued an order on October 8,
1987, based on the reports of the physical inspections, reducing the
rent of the rent stabilized tenants who joined in the complaint to the
level that was in effect prior to the last rent guideline increase,
effective September 1, 1986. For all rent controlled tenants, the rent
was reduced by $7.00 per month effective, November 1, 1987.
In his petition for administrative review the owner requests
revocation of the Administrator's order raising substantially the same
points articulated in his answer below. Attached to the owner's
petition are various photocopied documents which were submitted with
the owner's Application for Modification of Services.
After careful consideration the Commissioner is of the opinion
that these petitions should be denied.
The Commissioner notes that while the owner questions the finding
of fact the record clearly reflects those finding by virtue of DHCR
inspection which occurred on October 14, 1986 and December 22, 1986.
The Commissioner further notes that the owner's Application for
Modification of Services, which was denied by this Division, is not
relevant to the finding herein, that there is a failure to maintain
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, 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
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include
repairs and maintenance.
Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations provides that
if the owner fails to maintain services, the Rent Administrator may
order a decrease in the maximum rent in an amount which the Rent
Administrator, in his discretion, may determine.
Docket Nos. BK-430351-RO and BK-430372-RO
The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based his
determination of the entire record, including the results of the on-
site physical inspections conducted on October 14, 1986 and December
22, 1986, that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code and Section
2202.16 of the Rent and Eviciton Regulations, the rent reductions
ordered by the Administrator were warranted.
Moreover, the owner had thirteen months from the date of service
of the tenants' complaint until the issuance of the Administrator's
order to investigate the tenants' complaints and to make the necessary
repairs, but failed to do so.
Therefore, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly
relied on the results of the inspections, and that based thereon, the
Administrator properly determined that the owner had failed to maintain
services and properly reduced the tenant's rent.
This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the owner's
right to file the appropriate application with the Division for a
restoration of rent based upon the restoration of services, if the
facts so warrant.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
and the Rent and Eviction Regulations of New York City, it is
ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, denied
and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA