ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. BL 440214 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 
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. BL 440214 RO    
                      
             
                                              :
                                                 DISTRICT RENT              
                                                 ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET NO.  
                                                 BH 440023-HW
               SUTTON PLACE SYNAGOGUE                                       
                              
                                             
                                                  

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

            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                       IN PART

               On December 4, 1987, the above-named owner filed a  petition
          for administrative review of an order issued on October 30,  1987
          by  a  District  Rent  Administrator   concerning   the   housing
          accommodation known as Apartment 2A, 229 East  51st  Street,  New
          York, New York, wherein rent was reduced due to a  diminution  of
          service.

               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 August 19, 1987 the subject tenant filed  an  application
          for a rent reduction based on  the  owner's  alleged  failure  to
          maintain services alleging, among other things,  that  inadequate
          hot water was being provided.

               On October 9, 1987, the owner interposed an  answer  to  the
          tenant's complaint wherein it alleged that  the  tenant  did  not
          provide access to  the  owner  in  order  for  it  to  effectuate
          repairs.




               On October 7, 1987 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  water  in  the  subject  apartment  was  100   degrees
          Fahrenheit after three minutes.  

               On October 30, 1987 the District Rent  Administrator  issued
          the order here under review finding that a diminution of services 






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. BL 440214 RO
          had occurred and reducing the  tenant's  rent  to  the  level  in
          effect prior to the last rent guideline increase which  commenced
          before the effective date of the rent reduction.  

               The owner's petition asserts that the Administrator's  order
          is too vague in that it does not specify in what manner  the  hot
          water is inadequate.  For example the owner states that it is not 
          sure if the Administrator is referring to the temperature, or the 
          flow, of the hot water, and the owner  further  states  that  the
          order does not specify in which room the hot water is inadequate. 
          The owner further asserts that the water temperature is in excess 
          of what is required  by  applicable  law,  and  that  the  tenant
          refuses to provide access to allow the owner to inspect and  make
          repairs.  The owner also alleges that the  tenant,  under  Docket
          No.BH-410408-S,  filed  a  separate   complaint   also   alleging
          inadequate hot water, and  that  the  owner  by  a  letter  dated
          October  7,   1987,   requested   that   these   proceedings   be
          consolidated.  The owner states that by  failing  to  consolidate
          these proceedings (BH-440023-HW and BH-410408-S) this constituted 
          an abuse of the Administrator's discretion.      

               The tenant's answer to the owner's petition, dated  February
          7, 1988, asserts that  the  owner  is  provided  access  to  make
          repairs when proper notice to the tenant is given. 

               On September 8, 1988, the owner filed a  supplement  to  its
          petition stating that it  never  received  a  copy  of  the  rent
          agency's inspection report.  To the supplement the owner attaches 
          the Administrator's order, under Docket No. BH  410408-S,  issued
          on August 30, 1988, finding  that  the  subject  apartment's  hot
          water is adequate. 

               After careful consideration,  the  Commissioner  is  of  the
          opinion that the owner's petition should be granted in part.

               The Commissioner finds that the owner knew  or  should  have
          known the manner in which the hot water was  not  adequate.   The
          owner did receive the tenant's complaint which states that the 




          hot  water  is  inadequate  because,  everyday  from  6  a.m.  to
          midnight, it is "provided but not hot enough,"  and  that  it  is
          "provided only some hours during the day."   

               As Section 27-2032 of the Housing  Maintenance  Code  states
          "...every bath, shower, wash basin and sink in any dwelling  unit
          in a multiple  dwelling  or  tenant-occupied  one-family  or  two
          family dwelling shall be supplied at all times between the  hours
          of six a.m. and midnight with hot water  at  a  constant  minimum
          temperature of one hundred twenty  degrees  Fahrenheit....",  the
          Commissioner is of the opinion that this statute,  together  with
          the tenant's complaint, put the  owner  on  notice  of  what  the
          service defect consisted of, and it informed the owner where  hot
          water is to be provided.

               The Commissioner notes  that  in  Docket  No.  BH  410408-S,
          which was the proceeding the owner requested to  be  consolidated






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. BL 440214 RO
          with this proceeding,  the  owner  submitted  affidavits  by  the
          subject building's managing agent, the owner's representative,  a
          mechanic, and a plumber.  The managing agent's  affidavit  stated
          that she spoke to the subject tenant, and a  date  and  time  was
          mutually agreed to, to  allow  the  owner  access  to  effectuate
          repairs in the subject apartment.  The affidavits by the  others,
          all state that on the scheduled date and time, they  appeared  at
          the subject apartment, ready and willing to make repairs, but the 
          subject tenant denied access to them.  The  Commissioner  further
          notes that  on  March  4,  1988  the  rent  agency  conducted  an
          inspection for access, in which the  owner's  representative  and
          the subject tenant  agreed  that  work  in  the  apartment  would
          commence on March 7, 1988.  Accordingly, the Commissioner  is  of
          the opinion that the owner has substantiated its allegation  that
          the tenant denied  access  to  the  subject  apartment,  and  the
          Commissioner finds that  the  owner  was  denied  access  to  the
          subject apartment to effectuate repairs.      

               The Commissioner further notes that the Administrator  found
          that there was adequate hot water, under Docket No.  BH-410408-S,
          issued on August 30, 1988.  However, the Administrator's order in 
          this proceeding should not be disturbed, as  the  owner  has  not
          shown that  it  is  necessary  to  have  access  to  the  subject
          apartment to provide adequate hot water.  The Commissioner is  of
          the opinion that repairs could have been made without  access  to
          the subject apartment, e.g.  the  owner  could  have  effectuated
          repairs in the subject building's boiler room, or other areas  of
          the  subject  building  which  control  the  water   temperature.
          Furthermore, the record showed that at the time of  the  issuance
          of the Administrator's order the hot water that was provided  for



          the subject apartment was inadequate.   (The  inspector's  report
          found the water temperature to be  100  degrees  Fahrenheit,  but
          the applicable code requires the hot  water  to  be  120  degrees
          Fahrenheit, during the times the complainant  states  that  there
          is inadequate hot water).      

               As the Administrator, in the proceeding under Docket No. BH 
          410408-S, had  determined  that  adequate  hot  water  was  being
          provided, and that the owner had previously requested that Docket 
          Nos.  BH  410408-S,  and  BH  440023  HW   (the   District   Rent
          Administrator's   docket   number   in   this   proceeding)    be
          consolidated, the Commissioner  finds  that  the  Administrator's
          order should be modified so that  the  subject  apartment's  rent
          should be restored to the legal regulated rent,  effective  March
          4, 1988, which is the date the rent agency's inspector (in Docket 
          No. BH 410408-S) found the subject apartment's hot  water  to  be
          adequate.  

               As to the owner's assertion that it did not receive  a  copy
          of the rent agency's inspection report,  the  Commissioner  notes
          that administrative policy and precedent do not require that an 
          owner in this type of case involving decreased services within an 
          individual apartment be given a copy of the  inspection  results,
          and the Courts have upheld this  procedure.   See  Empress  Manor
          Apartments v. NYSDHCR, 147 A.D.2d 642, 538 N.Y.S.2d 49 (1989).







          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. BL 440214 RO
               THEREFORE, in accordance with the  provisions  of  the  Rent
          Stabilization Law and Code, it is

               ORDERED, that this petition be,  and  the  same  hereby  is,
          granted  in  part,  and  that  the  order  issued  by  the   Rent
          Administrator on October 30, 1987 be, and  the  same  hereby  is,
          modified, in that  the  legal  regulated  rent  for  the  subject
          apartment is restored, effective March 4, 1988; and it is 

               FURTHER ORDERED, that if the owner has already complied with 
          the Administrator's  order  and,  as  a  result  of  the  instant
          determination, there are  arrears  due  to  the  owner  from  the
          current tenant, the tenant may pay  off  the  arrears  in  twelve
          equal monthly installments during the next twelve months.
          Should the tenant vacate after the issuance of  this  order,  all
          arrears are due immediately.

          ISSUED:

                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

    

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