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.: BK120233RT
DOCKET NO.: AB1300780OR
James Colangelo, on behalf of
Sanford Imperial Tenants
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On November 25, 1987, the above-named petitioner-tenant
representative filed a petition for administrative review of an
order issued on November 16, 1987, by the Rent Administrator,
concerning the housing accommodation known as 144-58 Sanford
Avenue, Queens, New York, wherein the Administrator granted the
owner's application to restore rents previously reduced by an order
issued on February 20, 1986 per Docket Number QC800526B.
The Administrator had reduced the tenants' rents based on
findings of peeling paint on the third and sixth floor ceilings and
hallway areas, stains on the third floor ceiling, a broken hall
window, a defective intercom system, and a dirty playground area.
These findings were affirmed in an administrative review order
issued on September 26, 1986 per Administrative Review Docket
The owner's application filed on February 27, 1986, indicated
that services had been restored, but otherwise failed to give a
description of the restored services, to give the date of
restoration, or to furnish receipts or other evidence of
Copies of the application were served on the tenants on April
10, 1986, who interposed an answer on April 24, 1986, by their
tenants' representative, disputing the owner's claims of adequate
repairs. Of particular note, the tenants stated that the roof
still leaked, that the intercoms did not function properly despite
the owner's repairs, that some hallways still had peeling paint
even though the areas had been painted, and that playground areas
were still dirty.
The challenged order granted the owner's application to
restore rents effective May 1, 1986 based on the results of an
inspection conducted on August 20, 1987 by a member of the
Division's inspection staff. The inspector reported peeling paint
and plaster on the sixth floor hallway and ceiling, but no
evidence of the other defective conditions previously noted.
In this appeal, the tenants, by their representative, object
to the May 1, 1986 effective date of rent restoration, and question
some of the inspector's observations on August 20, 1987.
The tenants claim that the owner had not commenced roof
repairs until September 1987, which were still not complete on the
date of the petition, November 24, 1987. The tenants also claim
that the playground area was never cleaned properly. The tenants
acknowledge that new hallway windows were installed on March 1987,
that the intercom was replaced in April 1987, and that hallways and
ceiling were repaired in June 1987.
Copies of the appeal were served on the owner on January 15,
1988, and upon the owner's attorneys on April 27, 1993.
The record below, including the owner's and tenant's
statements is equivocal. It suggests that, while permanent repairs
and extensive building-wide replacement of equipment were not
completed until 1987, the owner took action to correct various
This is borne out by an inspection conducted on June 16, 1986,
in connection with Compliance Bureau proceedings subsequent to the
Administrator's January 13, 1986 rent reduction order. The
inspection was conducted to investigate the tenants' claim of non-
compliance with respect to the defective roof and dirty playground.
The inspector indicated that the roof repair had been completed and
that there were no breaks or defects in the roof, and that the
playground area was clean and free of debris at the time of
inspection. The inspector further reported that a spot check of
intercoms showed them to be operating and that the third and sixth
floor ceilings showed no sign of the peeling paint and water stains
found in October 1985.
Peeling paint was reported in the August 1987 inspection.
However, these defects, occurring almost two years after the
initial inspection in October 1985, but not evident in the June
1986 non-compliance inspection, are too distant to be considered a
continuation of the initial October 1985 condition, but rather,
appear to be a new occurrence.
In regard to the tenants' assertion below and on appeal that
the playground area has never been cleaned properly, the
Commissioner deems it appropriate to rely on the observation of the
DHCR inspectors, who are impartial agency employees and not parties
to the proceedings.
It is further noted that as there was no finding of defective
playground equipment in the underlying rent reduction proceedings,
there was no basis to consider the tenants' claim herein. Rent
restoration proceedings are strictly limited to a determination of
whether the owner has restored services found to have been reduced.
The documentation submitted by the tenants for the first time
on appeal may not be considered, as the material was not before
the Administrator for his consideration, and therefore beyond the
scope of review in this proceeding.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, it is,
ORDERED, that the tenants' petition be denied and that the
Administrator's order be affirmed.
Joseph A. D'Agosta