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

          APPEAL OF                             DOCKET NO.: CA210139RO
                                                RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                DOCKET NO.: BF210083B      
                    PAUL GERTZ                  




               On January 26, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          petition for administrative review of an order issued on December 
          27, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing 
          accommodation known as 533 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, New York, 
          wherein the Administrator determined that there had been a 
          reduction of building-wide services, directed the restoration of 
          services and ordered a reduction of the stabilized legal rent of 
          the tenant that filed the complaint.

               Although the tenant complained of both building-wide and 
          individual apartment services, the Administrator properly limited 
          these proceedings to consideration of the building defects.  The 
          challenged order reduced the tenant's rent based on the results of 
          an inspection conducted on October 13, 1987. The inspector reported 
          that public hall areas had been painted but in an unworkmanlike 
          manner, that the lights in the front of the building were not 
          operative, and that the sidewalk in front of the building was 
          broken and falling apart.

               The owner's appeal does not dispute the conditions reported by 
          the inspector.  Rather, the owner reiterates assertions below that 
          the repairs were adequate or that the owner was not responsible for 
          certain items, argues that some of the conditions found amounted to 
          minor repairs addressed in the course of periodic maintenance and 
          repairs, and contends that he was not given adequate notice of all 
          the conditions found and that the complaining tenant was not 
          entitled to the rent reduction.  A copy of the owner's appeal was 
          served on the tenant on February 22, 1988.


               The owner's arguments do not have merit.

               The owner's contention that hall areas were painted in a 
          workmanlike manner, that paint and plaster defects were limited to 
          isolated areas, that lights in front of the building were working, 
          and that the sidewalk conditions were minor, are belied by the 
          record.  The inspector's report reflects that a substantial part of 
          the hall was not painted in a workmanlike manner, and that certain 
          areas were not painted.  The inspector also observed that lights 
          outside the building did not work, and that the sidewalk in front 
          of the building was cracked and falling apart.

               The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly relied 
          on the observations of the DHCR inspector, who was not a party to 
          the proceeding, and not an adversary to the owner.  His impartial 
          observations, that the conditions observed were serious and 
          extensive, were properly placed in the record for the 
          Administrator's consideration and were entitled to, and afforded, 
          great weight.

               There is no merit to the owner's argument that he did not have 
          adequate notice from the tenant of the conditions found. The owner 
          was afforded his due process right to notice of the conditions by 
          service of the tenant's complaint by the Administrator.  

               The record also belies the owner's assertion that the 
          conditions found were isolated occurrences addressed in the normal 
          course of maintenance.  In fact, the conditions found reflected 
          that maintenance and repairs provided at the subject premises were 

               The owner's suggestion that the tenant was not entitled to 
          rent reductions since he lived in the basement apartment, and 
          because the tenant had previously been the building superintendent 
          responsible for the services, is similarly without merit.  It is 
          not disputed that the complainant was a legal tenant when he filed 
          the complaint.  The fact that the tenant's apartment was in the 
          basement also did not diminish the tenant's right to a rent 
          reduction arising from the owner's failure to maintain one or more 
          public area services.  The tenant had the right of access to these 
          public areas for, among other things, to obtain his mail.

               DHCR records do not show that the complaining tenant currently 
          resides in the subject apartment.  Accordingly, a copy of the 
          instant order shall also be addressed to "Occupant", in addition to 
          the named tenant.


               THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code, it is 

               ORDERED, that the owner's petition be denied and that the 
          Administrator's order be affirmed.


                                                  Joseph A. D'Agosta         
                                                  Deputy Commissioner        



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