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.: CF430105RO
345 River Company c/o RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
Robert M. Olshener, P.C., DOCKET NO.: BF410039B
PETITIONER PREMISES: 345 Riverside Dr.
New York, NY
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on May 13, 1988 concerning the housing
accommodations relating to the above-described docket number.
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 June 18, 1987 by various rent-
stabilized tenants filing a complaint which asserts that the owner
failed to maintain various services in the building. In relevant
part, the tenants stated that "the elevator breaks down or traps
people in it."
On September 1, 1987, a copy of the complaint was mailed to the
owner, with a notice that the owner had twenty-one (21) days to
interpose an answer. There is no record of the owner's answer to the
A physical inspection of the subject building was conducted on March
11, 1988 by a DHCR staff member who reported that the elevator is
out of order.
By an order dated May 13, 1988, the Administrator directed the
restoration of services and ordered a rent reduction.
In the petition for administrative review, the owner contends in
substance that there is an elevator maintenance company responsible
for this breakdown; there was no service call during the period of
inspection; and for the Administrator to reduce rent based on a
single inspection, and not a course of conduct, is an abuse of
discretion. Attached to the petition are copies of the elevator
maintenance contract, paid bills since 1984 concerning this
maintenance, and a statement from the elevator company that there
were no service calls about an elevator breakdown in February and
On August 2, 1988, DHCR mailed a copy of the petition to the tenants
who filed an answer, stating in substance that the petition was not
timely filed; that the attorney in the petition was not authorized
to represent the owner; that copies of the owner's paid bills to the
elevator maintenance company indicate a gap of payments in 1987 when
the tenants experienced breakdowns; and that the owner knew of this
persistent condition and could not claim the complaint as one
isolated incident occurring only at the time of inspection. The
tenants submitted copies of letters from the period of May 3, 1987
through June 16, 1987, written by individual tenants and various
chairs of the tenants associations to the owner who should be
informed of the elevator being out of order. The tenants asserted
that the on-site inspection merely confirmed the existence of a
protracted period of elevator breakdowns resulting in a serious
decrease in service.
In reply, the owner stated that attached to its petition was a
Notice of Appearance authorizing representation and that DHCR still
has to prove a course of conduct to reduce rent, not just a single
inspection confirming an inoperative elevator.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that
the petition should be denied.
Despite the tenants' assertions to the contrary, the Commissioner
finds that this petition was timely filed based on the evidence of
certified mailing with return receipt; and that the owner is
properly represented by an attorney and/or his law office based on
the Notice of Appearance submitted.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is
required to order a rent reduction, upon application by tenants,
where it is found that an owner has failed to maintain required
services. Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to
include repairs and maintenance of elevator services.
The record shows that the Administrator based his determination on
the entire evidence of record, including the results of DHCR's March
11, 1988 inspection report which identified and corroborated the
complained of condition. Accordingly, the Administator's
determination was proper in all respects and is hereby sustained.
The owner's rent restoration application (CE410209OR) was granted on
December 14, 1988.
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 Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA