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.:
Clinton Court Investors,
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On April 25, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
March 18, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 943 Fulton Street, Apt. 2F, Brooklyn, N.Y.,
wherein the Administrator determined that a reduction in rent was
warranted based upon a reduction in services. The Rent
Administrator reduced the rent of the subject rent controlled
apartment by $15.00 per month.
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 30, 1987, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the
owner failed to maintain essential services.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint alleging that all
repairs and services are in the process of being restored and that
it is a new owner of the premises diligently working to correct all
deficiencies. In support of its claims, the owner submitted sundry
copies of repair contracts.
A DHCR inspection conducted on December 31, 1987, revealed that the
following services were not being maintained:
1. Defective electrical outlet in the livingroom.
2. Peeling paint and plaster (cracks) on walls and
ceiling in livingroom.
3. Missing screens throughout apartment (11 window screens).
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
it is a new owner of the premises; that repairs were in progress at
the time of the inspection; that it was not informed of the date or
the results of the inspection and that the Rent Administrator
improperly failed to conduct a hearing.
The petition was served on the tenant on July 8, 1988.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
For rent controlled tenants, Section 2202.16 of the Rent and
Eviction Regulations provides that a finding that an owner failed
to maintain essential services may result in an order of decrease
in maximum rent, in an amount determined by the discretion of the
Rent Administrator, to reflect the decreased rental value because
of the decrease in services.
The Commissioner has considered and rejects the petitioner's
contention that its right of due process was violated by the Rent
Administrator's failure to notify it of the date and results of the
Due process does not require that an owner who has been served with
a complaint be given notice of the inspection or the actual
inspection results and the courts have upheld this procedure
(Empress Manor Apartments v. NYS DHCR, 538 N.Y.S 2d 49, 147 A.D. 2d
642, February 21, 1989).
Additionally, error was not committed by the Rent Administrator, by
its failure to conduct a hearing because the scheduling of hearings
is a matter for the sole discretion of the Administrator.
The owner's allegation that it is a new owner of the subject
building is not material because a new owner acquires title to the
premises subject to the rights and liabilities of its predecessor
in interest and therefore remains responsible for remedying any
decrease in services determined by the Administrator.
The Commissioner notes that although the owner submitted various
repair contracts to support its position that some repairs were in
progress, the contracts submitted did not cover all those service
items specified in the complaint.
The owner failed to adduce any credible evidence to show that those
service items specified in the appealed rent reduction order were
either completed or in progress prior to the issuance of the Rent
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 31, 1987, and
that pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction
Regulations a rent reduction reflecting the reduced rental value of
the accommodation because of the decreased services was warranted.
Accordingly, the Commissioner further finds that the owner has
offered insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's
Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply for
a rent restoration.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and
Eviction Regulations for New York, it is,
ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied, and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA