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.: CC210358RO
Jason Chang c/o RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
Au Gean Management Corp., DOCKET NO.: BL230072HW
PETITIONER PREMISES: 560 Prospect Place
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION IN PART AND MODIFYING
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on February 26, 1988 concerning the
housing accommodations relating to the above-described docket
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and has
carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by this administrative appeal.
This proceeding was commenced on December 16, 1987 by various
tenants filing a complaint which asserts that the owner failed to
maintain various services in the building. In relevant part, the
tenants complained of inadequate hot water services.
In answer, the owner denied that there was inadequate hot water and
otherwise asserted that services are being provided and maintained.
A DHCR staff member conducted a physical inspection on January 27,
1988 of Apts.1L, 2L, 5L, 11L, 16L, 17L, and 19L, and found the hot
water adequate (130@F). However, no access was made as to Apts. 4L,
8L, 9L, 10L, 14L and 15L; and 21L was empty.
On February 4, 1988, another physical inspection was conducted. The
inspector was not able to gain access to Apts.lL, 2L, 4L, 8L, 9L,
10L, 15L and 19L; and 21L was empty. The inspector reported
inadequate hot water (80@F to 100@F) in Apts. 5L, 11L, 14L, 16L and
By an order dated February 26, 1988, the Administrator directed the
restoration of services and ordered a rent reduction. As to rent
controlled apartments, the maximum legal collectible rent was
reduced by seven and a half (7«) percent per month effective on the
first rent payment day following the date of issuance of the order.
As to rent stabilized apartments, the rent was reduced to the level
in effect prior to the last rent guideline increase which commenced
before the effective date of this order; and the effective date of
the rent reduction was January 1, 1988, the first rent payment day
or the first of the month after DHCR informed the owner of the
In the petition for administrative review, the owner contends that
the hot water services were checked and found adequate at a minimum
of 120@F at all times. The owner questioned the accuracy of the
DHCR mailed a copy of the petition to the tenants.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that
the petition should be granted in part and that the Administrator's
order should be modified accordingly.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is
required to order a rent reduction where it is found that an owner
has failed to maintain required services. Section 2202.16 of the
Rent and Eviction Regulations contains similar provisions.
The basis for DHCR's finding of decreased services is the on-site
inspection conducted by its staff member, a disinterested party in
this proceeding. As a rule, one inspection is to be conducted in
order to render a determination. Follow-up inspections have been
allowed in those instances where access was not obtained in the
first instance, or when the results of an initial inspection
conducted at one stage of a proceeding became stale due to lengthy
delays before the issuance of an order, and thus were of limited
In accordance with DHCR practice as reflected above, the
Commissioner finds as correct the determination which is based on
the January 27, 1988 physical inspection which revealed hot water
adequate (130@F) in Apts.1L, 2L, 5L, 11L, 16L, 17L, and 19L.
The Commissioner notes that per that first inspection, no access was
made as to Apts. 4L, 8L, 9L, 10L, 14L and 15L; and that 21L was
empty. The second inspection on February 4, 1988 is valid to the
extent that access was gained to these apartments.
The Commissioner finds the determination that Apt.14L, which was
inspected only in the second inspection and found to have inadequate
hot water, was correct.
The Commissioner also notes that apartments already inspected should
not have been reinspected. The Commissioner finds that the
determination based on the second inspection that Apts. 5L, 11L, 16L
and 17L had inadequate hot water did not accord with DHCR practice.
Rent abatements as to these apartments are revoked.
The Commissioner further finds this proceeding dismissed as to the
apartments where no access was gained (4L, 8L, 9L, 10L, and 15L) and
the empty apartment (21L). Rent abatements as to these apartments
are revoked. The tenants have an obligation to cooperate with DHCR's
effort to determine the validity of their complaint. Since these
tenants did not comply with their obligation to cooperate with the
Administrator, it was improper to grant them a rent abatement.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code
and the Rent and Eviction Regulations, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in
part, and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
modified in accordance with this Order and Opinion.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA