STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.:
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On February 16, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
February 1, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 613 East 16th Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.,
Apt.3F, wherein the Administrator determined that a reduction in
rent was warranted based upon a reduction in services.
The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
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 issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of the subject apartment.
On July 15, 1987, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the
owner was not maintaining services.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint dated September 27 ,
1987, alleging that the entire plumbing system in the building is
being repiped and that when this job is finished, which is expected
to be by the end of the month, repairs will be taken care of.
A DHCR inspection conducted on December 2, 1987, revealed that the
bathroom wall was missing tiles and that the bathroom basin was
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
it is true that bathroom tiles are missing and that the bathroom
basin is missing supports, but the inspector failed to report that
the entire building is being repiped and it is necessary to remove
tiles and basins in order to do this work.
The petition was served on the tenant on April 6, 1988, and on
April 21, 1988, the tenant filed an answer to the petition stating
that the bathroom disrepair existed for over four years and that
the owner's plans to repipe the building's plumbing does not excuse
his failure to make bathroom repairs.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2323.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) for reduction of the legal regulated rent to the level in
effect prior to the most recent guidelines adjustment, and the DHCR
shall so reduce the rent for the period for which it is found that
the owner has failed to maintain required services.
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include
repairs and maintenance.
A review of the petition shows that the owner by his own admission
failed to make repairs in the bathroom prior to the issuance of the
A copy of the tenant's complaint was mailed to the owner on
September 15, 1987, and the Rent Administrator's order was issued
on February 1, 1988.
It is apparent that the owner had approximately four (4) months to
attend to the complained-of conditions, but had failed to do so
prior to the issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
The Commissioner also finds the petitioner's contention that the
repiping of the plumbing in the subject building excused the
existence of missing bathroom tiles and basin supports to be
The owner remains obligated to maintain services even during the
rehabilitation of the premises.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's
The Commissioner finds, that the Administrator properly based his
determination on the entire record, including the results of the
on-site physical inspection conducted on December 2, 1987, and that
pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the Administrator was
mandated to reduce the rent upon determining that the owner had
failed to maintain services.
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted
by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this
order and opinion.
Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply for
a rent restoration.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA