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
APPEALS DOCKET NOS.:
Frank Skolnick and
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On February 11, 1988 and April 6, 1988, the above-named petitioner-
owner and tenant respectively filed petitions for administrative
review (PAR) of an order issued on January 4, 1988, by the Rent
Administrator, concerning the housing accommodations known as 200
Bennett Avenue, New York, N.Y., various apartments, wherein the
Administrator determined that the owner was not maintaining
services, directed restoration of services, and ordered a rent
reduction for rent controlled tenants only.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the administrative appeals.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of the rent controlled tenants and properly determined
that the rent stabilized tenants were not entitled to a rent
On April 7, 1987, the tenants filed a complaint alleging that the
owner failed to maintain various services in the subject building.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint, on June 3, 1987,
alleging that all repairs were made by a qualified union
superintendent and that the tenants are engaging in a pattern of
harassment against the super and himself.
A DHCR inspection conducted on August 24, 1987, revealed that
although sundry services were being maintained, others were not.
More specifically, the inspection revealed that the owner failed to
maintain the following services:
1. The building entrance door lock is inoperative.
2. Several hallway window panes are cracked.
3. The building entrance sidewalk is broken (area of
approximately 11 feet by 27 feet) and hazardous.
4. There are two (2) broken building entrance cement steps.
5. The top floor bulkhead is water-damaged and peeling paint
In the appeal under Docket No. CD520016RO, the petitioner-owner
asserted, in pertinent part, that the Rent Administrator failed to
serve him with a copy of the appealed order; that he was thus
deprived of his due process rights and that all repairs were
corrected prior to the issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
In the appeal under Docket No. CB410055RT, the petitioner-tenant
asserted that the Rent Administrator issued rent reductions to
rent-controlled tenants, but improperly failed to issue rent
reductions for the rent-stabilized tenants.
With regard to the owner's appeal, under Docket No. CD520016RO, the
petition was served on the tenant on May 7, 1990, and on May 28,
1990, the tenant filed an answer to the petition stating, among
other things, that the owner's petition was untimely. With regard
to the tenant's appeal, under Docket No. CB410055RT, the petition
was served on the owner on May 5, 1988, but the owner 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 appeals
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.
Regarding the owner's claim in Docket No. CD520016RO, that his
right of due process was violated due to the failure of the DHCR to
properly serve him with a copy of the appealed order, the record
clearly shows that he was served with a copy of the tenant's
complaint on May 5, 1987 and that he filed an answer on June 3,
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the answer filed below
belies the owner's contention on appeal that it failed to receive
notice of the proceedings and that its rights of due process were
A review of the record before the Administrator clearly shows that
the owner did not submit any evidence that the deficiencies noted
on the inspector's report were completed in a workmanlike manner at
the time of the DHCR's inspection or at any time prior to the
issuance of the Administrator's order.
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 August 24, 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 for
all rent controlled tenants in the building.
Accordingly, the Commissioner further finds that the owner has
offered insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's
With regard to the tenant's claim in Docket No. CB410055RT that the
Rent Administrator erred by failing to reduce the rents of rent
stabilized tenants, the Commissioner finds this argument to be
A review of the rent stabilized tenants' complaint shows that they
did not request a rent reduction.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a), of the Rent Stabilization Code, the
Division is required to order a rent reduction based on a finding
of failure to maintain services only when the tenants apply for a
rent reduction. No error was committed, therefore, when the Rent
Administrator did not issue a rent reduction for the rent
stabilized tenants. The Commissioner notes, however, that the
owner remains obligated to restore services and risks additional
penalties for failing to comply.
The Commissioner finds, therefore, that the Administrator properly
reduced the rents of the rent controlled apartments and that
pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, the
Administrator was authorized to reduce the rents of the rent
stabilized tenants only when the tenants apply for a rent
The Commissioner notes that on the owner's applications, under
Dockets DD530149OR and ED530050OR, the rents previously reduced by
order issued on January 4, 1988, under Docket No. BD530045B, were
restored on November 17, 1989 ($14.00) and May 30, 1990 ($4.00),
based upon restoration of all services, prospectively for
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code and the Rent and Eviction Regulations
for New York City, it is
ORDERED, that the administrative appeals be, and the same hereby
are, denied and that the Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA