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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:              
                    CHARLES WAXMAN, 
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                   PETITIONER     BK610194HW        


          On March 28, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on 
          March 9, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing 
          accommodation known as 16 Elliot Place, Bronx, New York, apartment 
          5-J, wherein the Administrator determined that a reduction in rent 
          was warranted based upon a reduction in services.

          The 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 November 16, 1987, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that, 
          among other things, the owner was not providing heat and hot water 

          The owner filed an answer to the complaint on January 11, 1988, 
          alleging that all services were being maintained and that he would 
          welcome an inspection at the premises to prove the point. 


          A Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) inspection was 
          conducted on January 27, 1988.  The inspector's report showed:

                    1.   Heat is provided:

                              a)  Inside  temperature 60@
                              b)  Outside temperature 20@

                    2.   Hot water is provided:

                              a)  temperature 128@

          On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that 
          all services were being provided at all times.  In support of his 
          claim that heat and hot water services were being provided, the 
          owner submitted sundry paid oil invoices from the Original Con- 
          sumers' Oil Heating Corporation.

          The petition was served on the tenant on June 20, 1988, but the 
          tenant failed to file an answer to the petition.

          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 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a 
          tenant may apply to the Division and 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 heat 
          and hot water.

          The Commissioner has considered the owner's claim on appeal that 
          heating services are being provided and rejects this argument.

          Although the inspector found that heat and hot water services are 
          being provided, the inspection report noted that the inside 
          temperature was 60@ Fahrenheit, on January 27, 1988, when the 
          outside temperature was 20@ Fahrenheit.

          This clearly fails to meet the inside temperature standard 
          established by Section 27-2029 of the Housing Maintenance Code, 
          which essentially provides that the minimum temperature to be 


          maintained during the period from October first through May thirty- 
          first, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., must be at 
          least 68@ Fahrenheit, whenever the outside temperature falls below 
          fifty-five degrees.

          The Commissioner notes that the owner filed an answer to the 
          tenant's complaint, on January 13, 1988, in response to the 
          DHCR notice mailed on January 7, 1988, and that the order was not 
          based on the owner's default but on the results of the inspection.

          The Commissioner finds, therefore, that the Rent Administrator 
          properly determined that the owner was providing inadequate heat 
          service and properly issued the rent reduction order of March 9, 

          Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply for 
          a rent restoration.

          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.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabiliza- 
          tion Law and Code, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and 
          the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby, is 


                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner          


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