CA410208RT (BL430050RT)

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

          APPEAL OF                                    DOCKET NO.:
                    Shirley Ryan,
                    Tenant Representative,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.:


          On January 28, 1988, the above-named petitioner-tenant 
          representative timely refiled a petition for administrative review 
          of an order issued on November 4, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, 
          concerning the housing accommodations known as various apartments 
          at 150 East 49 Street, New York, N.Y., wherein the Administrator 
          denied the tenants' application for a rent reduction.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and 
          has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the 
          issue raised by the administrative appeal.

          The record reveals that eight tenants joined in filing a complaint 
          on May 18, 1987 alleging a decrease in building-wide services.  The 
          complaint stated that two washtubs for laundry had been removed 
          from the basement and the remaining two tubs are used for drainage 
          of the two existing washing machines and are not available for use 
          by the tenants for washing/soaking laundry.  The complaint further 
          stated that the laundry drying room has been reduced in size and 
          the facilities available for drying clothes have been substantially 

          The complaint was served on the owner on June 3, 1987, but no 
          response was received.

          CA410208RT (BL430050RT)

          A physical inspection on July 8, 1987 revealed that new coin- 
          operated laundry machines have been installed and the old machines 
          and tubs have been sealed up.  A second inspection August 24, 1987 
          revealed that the two washtubs are being used for washing machine 
          drainage and that wooden drying rods have been installed, replacing 
          the prior metal rods.

          In the order issued on November 4, 1987, the Administrator denied 
          the tenants' application on the ground that the facts do not 
          warrant the relief requested.

          In the petition for administrative review, the tenants seek 
          reversal of the order claiming that sufficient evidence was 
          provided to establish that the tenants have been denied space and 
          facilities in the basement laundry area.  The tenants note that 
          photographs were submitted to the Administrator and the physical 
          inspection confirmed the reduction in the drying room area, the 
          reduction in the number of drying rods available for tenant use, 
          and the removal of two washtubs and the conversion of the remaining 
          tubs to drainage areas for the washing machines.  The petition also 
          states that although the inspector reported that the dryer was 
          free, it has since been replaced by two coin-operated dryers.

          The petition was served on the owner on September 17, 1990.

          After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted.

          Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code requires DHCR to 
          order a rent reduction upon application by a tenant based on a 
          finding that the owner has failed to maintain required services.  
          Required services are defined by Section 2520.6(r) as that space 
          and those services which the owner was maintaining or was required 
          to maintain on the applicable base date.

          For rent controlled tenants, Section 2202.16 of the Rent and 
          Eviction Regulations authorizes a rent decrease where it is found 
          that there has been a decrease in the dwelling space, essential 
          services, furniture, furnishings or equipment required to be 
          provided.  Essential services are defined in Section 2200.3(b) as 
          those services which the owner furnished or was obliged to furnish 
          on April 30, 1962 and which were included in the maximum rent, 
          including, but not limited to, repairs, decorating and maintenance, 
          the furnishing of light, heat, hot and cold water, telephone, 
          elevator service, kitchen, bath and laundry facilities and 
          privileges, maid service, linen service, janitor service, and 
          removal of refuse.

          A review of the record in the instant case, including the physical 
          inspection adequately establishes that there has been a reduction 

          CA410208RT (BL430050RT)

          in essential or required services for which a rent reduction is 

          For the rent stabilized tenants listed on Appendix A, the rent is 
          reduced to the level in effect prior to the last rent guideline 
          increase which commenced before the effective date of this Order.  
          The effective date of the rent reduction is October 1, 1993, the 
          first rent payment day after DHCR informed the owner/landlord of 
          the tenants' petition for administrative review.  The owner is 
          directed to refund all amounts collected in excess of the reduced 
          rent since the effective date of the order.  If the owner fails to 
          make a refund within thirty (30) days of the issuance date of this 
          order, the tenants are authorized to deduct the amount from future 
          rents until the total amount has been refunded.

          For the rent controlled tenants listed on Appendix B, the maximum 
          legal rent is reduced by $4.00 per month effective the first rent 
          payment day following the date of issuance of this order for:

               1.   Removal of two washtubs for use by tenants   $2.00
               2.   Replacement of free laundry machines with 
                    coin-operated ones                           $2.00

          The owner is directed to restore the above services and the failure 
          to do so may result in additional penalties.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code 
          and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be and the same hereby is granted and 
          the Rent Administrator's order be and the same hereby is modified 
          to order a rent reduction as specified herein.         



                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner  


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