DOCKET NO.: BL 210304 RO  
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK  11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. BL 210304 RO    
               Allan and Maureen John             DISTRICT RENT 
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET    
                                                  NO. BC 230064 B   

               On December 8, 1987, the above-named owners filed a petition 
          for administrative review of an order issued on November 12, 1987 
          by a District Rent Administrator concerning Various 
          apartments at the premises known as 657 East 21st Street, 
          Brooklyn, New York, wherein rent was reduced to a diminution of 

          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 petition for review.

          On March 18, 1987 several tenants filed an application for a 
          rent reduction based  on the owners' alleged failure to maintain 
          building-wide services alleging, among other things, that the 
          vestibule door lock was defective; that there was no lock on the 
          roof door, and the courtyard on the left side of the building was 
          full of debris.

          On April 17, 1987 the rent agency mailed to the owner a copy 
          of the tenants'  complaint and a "Notice and Transmittal of 
          Tenant's Complaint" advising the owners that they had twenty 
          days, from the date of mailing, to answer the tenants' complaint.

          The owners did not submit an answer.

          On June 25, 1987 a physical inspection of the subject 
          building was carried out by the Division of Housing and Community 
          Renewal (DHCR).  The inspector, in his report, noted that various 
          service defects existed in the subject building.

          DOCKET NO.: BL 210304 RO  

          On November 12, 1987 the District Rent Administrator issued 
          the order here under review finding that a diminution  of 
          services had occurred and reducing the rent stabilized tenants' 
          rent to the level in effect prior to the last rent guideline 
          increase which commenced before the effective date of the rent 
          reduction.  The rent controlled tenants' rent was reduced by 
          $11.00 per month, effective on the first rent payment day 
          following the issuance of the Administrator's order.

          In the petition the owners assert that the tenants' 
          complaint was filed by someone other than the subject tenants; 
          that the tenants were asked to sign a complaint form, but the 
          tenants were not made aware of the application for a rent 
          reduction; that the courtyard mentioned on the right side of the 
          subject building is not a courtyard, but a lot owned by someone 
          else; and that all of the defects stated in the tenants' 
          complaint have been corrected.

          Attached to the owners' petition are letters submitted by 
          several tenants alleging that they were never informed of the 
          rent reduction application when they signed the complaint form, 
          and that these tenants object to any rent reduction.  Also 
          attached to the petition are photographs of various portions of 
          the alleged subject building, which purport to show that repairs 
          in the premises have been made.

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

          As to the issue of whether the tenants intended to request  
          a rent reduction, the Commissioner notes that that issue is 
          being raised for the first time upon administrative review, and 
          as the owners do not explain why this issue was not raised in 
          the proceeding before the District Rent Administrator, it is 
          outside of the scope of the Commissioner's review.  The 
          Commissioner notes that the subject tenants' mistake, if indeed 
          there was one, in understanding the full implication of signing a 
          particular document is insufficient grounds for reversing an 
          order issued by the Rent Administrator as to a finding of a 
          decrease in services.

          The Commissioner further notes that not all the signatories 
          of the original complaint submitted statements alleging that they 
          do not want a rent reduction, and several of the tenants 
          submitting statements, on behalf of the owners, were not 
          signatories of the original complaint.

          As the owners have not established that the photographs 
          which they submit for the first time upon administrative review 
          could not reasonably have been offered or included in the 

          DOCKET NO.: BL 210304 RO  

          proceeding before the District Rent Administrator, they are 
          outside the scope of the Commissioner's review in this 
          proceeding.  Even if the photographs were properly before the 
          Commissioner, the Commissioner notes that owner does not make 
          clear whether the photographs were taken before the premises were 
          inspected or before the order was issued or whether the 
          photographs were taken following the issuance of the Rent 
          Administrator's order.  If it is the former, then the 
          Administrator properly based his decision on the report of the 
          agency inspector in determining that defects existed.  If it is 
          the latter, than the Rent Administrator's order reducing the rent 
          was nevertheless correct when issued.

          The Commissioner finds that the owners' allegation that the 
          courtyard on the right side of the subject building belongs to 
          someone else is irrelevant because the tenants' complaint alleged 
          debris in the courtyard on the left side of the building, and not 
          on the right side.  The Commissioner further notes that the owner 
          failed to raise this issue when the matter was pending before the 
          Rent Administrator.

          Accordingly, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the 
          owners' petition should be denied.

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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          denied, and that the District Rent Administrator's order be, and 
          the same hereby is, affirmed.


          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
          Deputy Commissioner


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