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
APPEALS OF DOCKET NO.: BJ630219RO
STATE FUNDING CORPORATION
AND RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
KENT BENTLEY PROPERTY CO. DOCKET NO.: BB630111B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW IN
On September 29, 1987 and October 26, 1987, the above-named
petitioner owner and former owner filed petitions for
administrative review (PARs) of an order issued on September 22,
1987, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 2015 St. Paul Avenue, Bronx, NY wherein the
Administrator ordered a restoration of building services and
directed a reduction of rent for the rent controlled and rent
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 administrative appeals.
This proceeding was commenced on February 13, 1987, by the
filing of a complaint of decrease in services by the tenants. An
inspection of the premises by a Division employee confirmed the
existence of some of the complained of conditions resulting in the
Administrator's order which reduced the rent by $9.00 per month for
the rent controlled tenants effective October 1, 1987, and by one
guideline for the rent stabilized tenants, effective April 1, 1987.
The order cited the following conditions as the basis for the
decrease in services: 1. Sixteen feet of driveway requires repair
and prevents the garage door from closing, 2. Basement area is
dirty, 3. Storage room is littered with junk.
The current owner's PAR dated October 26, 1987 was docketed
twice by the agency and assigned Docket Nos. BJ630220RO and
In the PAR, the owner states that the concrete work was
completed on July 16, 1987, which was as soon after receipt of the
tenant's complaint as the weather permitted; that the tenants did
not allege in their complaint that the basement was dirty and that
such a finding by the agency is outside of the record; and that the
finding of junk in the storage area is in error where the tenants
complaint alleged a lack of storage area.
The former owner's PAR is dated September 29, 1987 and was
assigned Docket No. BJ630219RO. The former owner states in its PAR
that the building was sold on July 30, 1987 and that any additional
work required after that date must be directed to the new owner;
and that the order does not specify the date of inspection.
Included in the PAR is a copy of a paid bill from the contractor
as evidence of the completion of the concrete work.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition of the
former owner should be denied and the petition of the current owner
should be granted in part.
The report of inspection states that the storage room is
littered with discarded furniture and junk all disarray (sic), that
basement rooms are not well maintained , and that the need for
concrete work in the driveway is the reason the garage door does
not close entirely. The tenant's complaint, however, states that
the tenants were denied use of the storage room but made no mention
of the condition of the storage room or of the basement.
The owner's answer to the tenant's complaint states that the
owner had recently removed improperly stored items from the storage
area, admits that access was temporarily impaired to clean the
place out, and states that access will once again be provided to
The inspection report, however, makes no finding regarding
access and the rent has not been reduced for this reason but rather
for the condition of the store room's contents.
The Commissioner finds that the condition of the tenant's
personal property in the storage area to be outside the scope of
the tenant's complaint, in that it bears an insufficient nexus to
the issue of access to the storage room, and cannot be sustained as
a condition constituting a reduction in service warranting a rent
Similarly, the finding of a dirty basement was also not raised
in the tenant's complaint which contained no reference to
Included with the prior owner's PAR was a copy of a receipted
bill for concrete work in the driveway. While this bill and the
work indicated thereon predate the issuance of the Administrator's
order, the Commissioner finds that the order was correct when
issued. The record contains no evidence that such information was
furnished to the Administrator below.
Therefore, the portion of the order granting a rent reduction
for the conditions of the basement area and storeroom is hereby
As a result, the rent reduction of $6.00 per month for the
rent controlled tenants for these conditions is also revoked. The
rent reduction of one guideline for the rent stabilized tenants
however, remains the same inasmuch as the Administrator's finding
regarding the garage door alone constitutes a decrease in services
warranting a rent reduction.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code, and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it
ORDERED, that the petition under Docket No. BJ630219RO be, and
the same hereby is, denied, that the petitions under Docket Nos.
BJ630220RO and BJ610321RO be and the same hereby are granted in
part, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, modified in accordance with this order and opinion. Any
arrears due as a result of this order may be paid in monthly
installments of $6.00 per month until all arrears are repaid.
Joseph A. D'Agosta