STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: BH230203RO
          HOMESTAKE PROPERTIES, INC.              RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: KCS000382B

               On August 18, 1987 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued July 14, 1987. The order concerned various 
          housing accommodations located at 2313 Benson Avenue, Brooklyn, 
          N.Y.  The Administrator ordered a building-wide rent reduction for 
          failure to maintain required services.  

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 

               This proceeding was commenced on November 29, 1985 when 17 of 
          the 22 building tenants filed a Statement of Complaint of Decrease 
          in Building-Wide Services wherein they alleged the following 
          services deficiencies:

                    1.   Building-wide leaks in bathrooms and kitchens,

                    2.   No guard rails on windows,

                    3.   Broken mail boxes,

                    4.   Inadequate building security,

                    5.   Faulty electrical wiring,

                    6.   Plaster falling from ceilings,

                    7.   Fire escapes in need of painting,

                    8.   No lights in halls,

                    9.   Defective bells


                    10.  Broken windows.

               The owner at the time was served with a copy of the complaint 
          and afforded an opportunity to respond.  A response was filed on 
          March 7, 1986 in which it was stated that a contractor was being 
          hired to make all necessary repairs.
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          building.  An inspection was conducted on April 30, 1986 and 
          revealed the following:

                    1.   Defective bells,

                    2.   Rusty fire escapes,

                    3.   Defective mailboxes,

                    4.   Defective lights in lobby and on third and fourth 

          The building was reinspected on March 31, 1987 and revealed 
          evidence of defective mail boxes, rusty fire escapes and defective 

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on July 
          14, 1987.  A rent reduction of $10 per month was ordered for rent 
          controlled tenants.  A rent reduction of an amount equal to the 
          most recent guideline adjustment was ordered for rent stabilized 

               The current owner filed an administrative appeal on August 18, 
          1987 and requested a thirty day extension of time in order to 
          provide a more detailed statement of grounds for reversing the 
          order here under review. The owner did state that it had no notice 
          of the proceeding and that repairs were done.  The owner attached 
          proposals by licensed contractors and copies of cancelled checks 
          showing payments to contractors for repairs to the bells and 
          intercom, mailboxes, and fire escapes.

               On September 9, 1992 the owner, through counsel, filed an 
          additional submission wherein it stated that it had purchased the 
          building on August 28, 1986, that the rent reduction order was 
          addressed to the former owner, that it had no knowledge of the rent 
          reduction proceeding and that it made good faith efforts to repair 
          the conditions set forth in the Administrator's order.

               Various tenants filed responses to the owner's petition and 
          stated, in sum, that the conditions cited in the Administrator's 
          order had been corrected.

               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.


               The deed submitted by the petitioner shows that it took title 
          to the subject building on August 28, 1986.  As a prospective 
          purchaser it was incumbent on the petitioner to ascertain the 
          existence of proceedings pending with DHCR.  Upon taking title, the 
          new owner stepped into the shoes of its predecessor in interest, 
          assuming all the rights and liabilities associated with ownership 
          of the property.  As the new owner, the petitioner had a right to 
          intervene in the subject rent reduction proceeding which was then 
          before the Administrator and had an obligation to register its name 
          and address with the Division.  A review of the Division's records 
          reveals that this was not done before the Administrator's order was 

               With regard to repairs  done by the owner, the Commissioner 
          notes that the March 31, 1987 inspection report clearly stated that 
          as of that date repairs had not been done.  The evidence submitted 
          by the owner with the petition showing that the fire escapes were 
          painted before the order was issued was not submitted to the 
          Administrator.  This evidence is, therefore, beyond the scope of 
          review of this administrative appeal.  The evidence regarding 
          repairs to the bells and mailboxes shows that this was not done 
          until after the order was issued.  Any repairs made by the owner 
          after the order here under review was issued confirm that the order 
          was actually correct at the time of issuance.  The Commissioner 
          finds that the Administrator based this determination on the entire 
          record including the results of the on-site physical inspection 
          described above.  The order here under review is affirmed.

               The Commissioner does note, however, that the numerous 
          responses filed by tenants attest to the fact that the owner has 
          made the required repairs and restored all services.  A physical 
          inspection on September 7, 1989  by the Division in conjunction 
          with a compliance proceeding confirmed that all conditions cited in 
          the Administrator's order had been repaired.  Accordingly, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the rents should be ordered 
          restored effective October 1, 1989, the first rent payment date 
          following restoration of services for rent stabilized tenants and 
          effective the first rent payment date following the issuance of the 
          instant order for rent controlled tenants.  With regard to rent 
          stabilized tenants, if any arrears are due and owing the owner 
          based on this determination of the Commissioner the tenants may pay 
          off said installments in twelve equal monthly installments.  Should 
          any tenant vacate their apartment or have previously vacated, the 
          arrears are due and payable immediately.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and 
          Rent and Eviction Regulations it is 
               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          denied, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same 
          hereby is, affirmed and it is further


               ORDERED, that the rents be, and the same hereby are, ordered 
          restored in accordance with this order and opinion.


                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner

TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name