STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: CB410057RT
DOCKET NO.: BF410330S
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
AND REMANDING PROCEEDING TO RENT ADMINISTRATOR
On February 1, 1988, the above-named petitioner-tenant filed a
petition for administrative review of an order issued on December
30, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 170 Second Avenue, Apt. 6D, New York, N.Y.,
wherein the Administrator directed the owner to restore services
but did not order 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 by the administrative appeal.
The record indicates that the tenant filed a complaint on June 26,
1987 describing various defects in the new windows that had
recently been installed building-wide.
In answer to the complaint, the owner, through counsel, states that
the new windows are functioning properly and that in response to
this and other complaints, the contractor returned and made certain
minor adjustments to the windows in those apartments for which
access was provided. The subject tenant did not provide access.
The Division sent an inspector to the apartment on November 9,
1987. The inspection request asked the inspector to determine if
the windows are hard to open from the top, putting the tenant in
danger. The inspector reported that the right living room lower
window in self-closing.
Based on inspector's report, the Administrator issued an order
finding that a rent reduction is not warranted but directing the
owner to correct the condition of the "Living room right lower
window is self-closing."
In the petition for administrative review, the tenant asserts that
the basic design of the windows is very poor, that they are all
difficult to open from the top and cannot be secured unless fully
closed, and that in another proceeding a rent reduction was granted
to another tenant for the same conditions complained of by the
In answer to the petition, the owner contends that the
Administrator's order was properly based on a physical inspection
which revealed only a minor condition not warranting a rent
After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted
in part and the proceeding should be remanded to the Administrator.
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) to include
repairs and maintenance.
In the instant case, the tenant described in detail in the
complaint various problems with the new windows including the
difficulty in opening the windows from the top without risking
personal physical danger, the reduced ventilation because of the
inability to open the windows from the top, the non-use of the
windows where air conditioners have been installed because of the
inability to open the windows from the top, and the lack of the
feature the old window had of being able to secure the top and
bottom halves while open.
It cannot be determined from the inspection report whether the
conditions complained of by the tenant were investigated.
Moreover, the finding that one window is self-closing is ambiguous
and not responsive to the complaint.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the proceeding should be
remanded to the Administrator for the purpose of conducting another
inspection in which the inspector is to determine whether all the
windows throughout the apartment can be opened from the top without
difficulty and whether the windows can be secured in an open
position. If the defective condition alleged in the complaint is
confirmed, a rent reduction should be ordered effective the month
following the issuance of this order which gives the owner notice
that the problem with the windows has not been resolved.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be and the same hereby is granted and
the proceeding be and the same hereby is remanded to the Rent
Administrator for further processing in accordance with this order
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA