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 ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: BF610182RO
FIELDSTON ASSOCIATES, INC RENT
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
AND REVOKING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER AFTER REOPENING
On November 17, 1992 the Commissioner granted the tenant's
request for reconsideration and reopening of a proceeding wherein
the owner's Petition for Administrative Review (Docket No.
BF610182RO) regarding Apartment 3K located at 3600 Fieldston
Avenue, Bronx, N.Y., was granted and the Administrator's order
(Docket No. AG620844S) reducing the maximum legal rent for the
subject apartment by $25.00 was revoked. In the order reopening
the proceeding it was stated that this matter was being
reconsidered solely for the purpose of calculating the amount of
arrears the tenant must repay.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record, including the
submissions made by the tenant in her request for reconsideration,
and has carefully considered that portion relevant to the issue of
the amount of arrears owed by the tenant.
The tenant filed a complaint on July 21, 1986 alleging that
the bedroom ceiling needed to be repainted because of a leak
occurring in December 1985. The landlord responded to the
complaint on September 4, 1986, stating that the painting had been
completed. The tenant advised on October 26, 1986 that no repairs
had been made and requested that an inspector visit the premises.
However, when the inspector scheduled an appointment for November
20, 1986, the tenant telephoned the inspector and advised that the
repairs had been made and no inspection was required.
The Rent Administrator's order issued on March 11, 1987
reduced the rent for this rent controlled apartment by $25.00 for
leaking kitchen faucets and a defective valve ($3.00), rusted
kitchen sink cabinet ($2.00), a fallen bedroom ceiling ($4.00),
various stove defects ($10.00) and exposed wires in the light
In the petition for administrative review, the landlord
attached a statement by a Robert Ramos that he had painted and
plastered the bedroom ceiling; repaired the kitchen faucets, light
fixtures, and kitchen cabinet; and had offered to replace the stove
but the tenant refused.
In answer to the petition the tenant raises complaints about
a failure to paint her apartment, the lobby and the rusty fire
escapes; a defective refrigerator; a defective apartment door lock;
two warped windows; and leaky faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms.
The Commissioner's order issued on April 29, 1992 granted the
petition and revoked the Administrator's order, finding that no
rent reduction was warranted.
In her request for reconsideration, the tenant acknowledged
that she owed arrears totaling $20 per month based on the fact that
the Administrator had ordered rent reductions for conditions which
were inapplicable to her apartment (fallen bedroom ceiling, defects
in stove and oven, exposed wiring in bedrooms). The tenant then
stated, however, that the Commissioner incorrectly ordered her to
refund arrears totaling $5.00 per month for the two conditions that
did apply to her apartment (leaking kitchen faucets and defective
valves, and rusted kitchen sink cabinet).
However a reexamination of the entire record reveals that the
owner's petition was properly granted and the rent reduction was
The complaint alleged only a need to repair the bedroom
ceiling and it was only that condition that the landlord was on
notice of the need to repair. The complaint did not mention any of
the items which the tenant now claims are applicable to her
apartment, nor is such a complaint contained in any of the other
proceedings that this tenant has filed with the Division. There
was also no inspection report substantiating the need for repairs
to the faucets and sink cabinet and therefore no finding that these
items actually required repair.
There is a notation in the Examiner's Progress Sheet that an
inspection took place on December 26, 1986 and revealed the
conditions for which the rent was reduced. However, since the file
does not contain such an inspection report, nor is it found in any
proceedings pertaining to the subject apartment and the conditions
cited have no relevance to the complaint, the notation appears to
be an error.
Although the landlord does not allege in the petition lack of
notice of the conditions for which the rent was reduced, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that a rent reduction order issued
for which there was no complaint and no inspection cannot be
sustained. By the tenant's own admission in the subsequent
compliance proceeding, she has filed many complaints and has many
proceedings pending with the Division and has difficulty keeping
track of them all. The landlord may reasonably have concluded that
the items in the order appealed herein were the subject of another
complaint and rather than assert that he had no knowledge of the
conditions, he attempted to make the necessary repairs.
A review of the Division's records including all the other
proceedings involving the subject apartment reveals that leaking
faucets and defective valves and a rusted sink cabinet were not the
subject of any other complaint pending at the same time.
The tenant's statement in the compliance proceeding that three
of the items in the order do not apply to her apartment supports
the determination herein that the rent reduction order was in
error. The assertion that two items do apply to her apartment
cannot serve as a basis for sustaining a portion of a rent
reduction if no complaint for these items was ever filed.
Moreover, a physical inspection on May 10, 1990 in the
aforementioned compliance proceeding finding the two supposedly
applicable items repaired cannot serve as a basis for a
determination that the rent should be restored as of that date when
there was never a determination that these items were defective.
The finding that all repairs were done in 1990 equally supports a
determination that these items were never defective.
The rent reduction of $25.00 per month ordered on March 11,
1987 in Docket No. AG620844S must be revoked as of the date it was
issued. There is no basis for affirming any part of the rent
reduction. Pursuant to Section 2202.24 of the Rent and Eviction
Regulations, the tenant may pay the back rent in installments of
$25.00 per month until all arrears are paid.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent and Eviction Regulations for
New York City it is
ORDERED, that this petition be and the same hereby is granted
and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA