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.: BJ230120RO
3841 REALTY ASSOCIATES RENT
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On October 22, 1987 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued October 8, 1987. The order concerned various
housing accommodations located at 3841 18th Ave. Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Administrator ordered a rent reduction for failure to maintain
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully
considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this
This proceeding was commenced on June 27, 1985 when 32 of the
58 tenants filed a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Building-
Wide Services wherein they alleged, in substance, that the owner
had failed to maintain certain services in the subject building.
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded
an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on August 13,
1985 and stated that it had recently purchased the building, that
it had no knowledge of any complaints regarding this matter, and
that it would investigate and make any required repairs. A further
response was filed on October 17, 1985 wherein the owner stated
that it had made certain repairs. The owner further stated that it
had not replaced any lobby furniture since no furniture was in the
lobby when it had purchased the building.
The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject
building. The inspection was conducted on April 1, 1987 and
revealed that the lobby furniture had been removed and that there
were defective public area windows.
The Administrator issued the order here under review on
October 8, 1987 and ordered an $8.00 per month rent reduction
for rent controlled tenants and a rent reduction of an amount equal
to the most recent guideline adjustment for rent stabilized
On appeal the owner states that lobby furniture was not
required to be provided to the tenants, that it had purchased the
building without lobby furniture, that it had replaced the
furniture pursuant to numerous complaints by the tenants, that the
furniture had been vandalized by the tenants on several occasions
and that the defective windows were repaired. The owner attached
documentation to the petition including a bill to a licensed
contractor for repair to the windows. The petition was served on
the tenants on December 30, 1987.
After careful review of the evidence in the record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.
With regard to the issue of the lobby furniture, the
Commissioner notes that an order bearing Docket No. KCS000170B was
issued by the Administrator on June 20, 1985. In that order the
Administrator found that the owner was required to maintain lobby
furniture. No administrative appeal of this order was ever filed.
Therefore, the issue of the owner's duty to maintain lobby
furniture has been decided and is final. With regard to the issue
of vandalism, prior decisions of the Commissioner have held that
vandalism does not relieve the owner of the obligation to maintain
required services (see Docket Nos. EG430202RO; CI130116RO).
With regard to the issue of the alleged repairs of the
windows, the Commissioner notes that the physical inspection was
conducted in response to the complaint regarding the windows. The
report was prepared by a rent agency employee who is not a party to
the proceeding nor an adversary. The Commissioner is of the
opinion that it was appropriate for the Administrator to rely on
the results of the inspection as they relate to the complaint
rather than the statements of a party to the proceeding, in
determining the outcome of the case. Accordingly, the report of
the inspector which found defective public area windows was
properly accorded substantial weight and is not rebutted by the
owner's statement that the windows were repaired.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the DHCR for a rent reduction and the
Administrator shall reduce the rent based on a finding that the
owner has failed to maintain required services. Repairs and
maintenance are included within the definition of required services
pursuant to Section 2520.6 (r) of the Code.
Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction
Regulations the Administrator may order a decrease in the maximum
rent based on a finding that there has been a decrease in the
dwelling space, essential services, furniture, furnishings or
equipment required to be provided. 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 owner may file for rent restoration when services have
been fully restored.
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.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA