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
APPEALS OF DOCKET NOS.: CA210340RO
DOCKET NOS.: BD210126B
Kenneth J. Birnbaum, CD230087B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On January 8, 1988 and July 31, 1989, the above-named
petitioner-owner respectively refiled and filed petitions for
administrative review of orders issued on October 29, 1987 and June
22, 1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodations known as 9524 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y.,
various apartments, wherein the Administrator determined that the
rent for rent stabilized apartments should be reduced to the level
in effect prior to the last rent guideline increase which commenced
before the effective date of the orders based upon a diminution of
services and further determined that the maximum legal rent for
rent controlled apartments covered by docket number BD210126B,
should be reduced by $7.00 per month and that the maximum legal
rent covered by docket number CD230087B should be reduced by $19.00
per month. The Rent Administrator's orders were respectively based
on inspections held on August 19, 1987 (docket Number BD210126B)
and January 23, 1989 and April 6, 1989 (docket Number CD230087B)
which showed that although some services were corrected; others
The inspection report in docket Number BD210126B revealed that
the top floor ceiling was leak damaged and that the public areas
throughout the premises were dirty. The inspection reports in
docket Number CD230087B revealed, among other things, that:
1. Janitorial service is inadequate, hallways and lobby
2. Basement doors stay open, unlocked.
3. Laundry room door has no lock.
4. Lobby ceiling and wall are leak damaged and peeling
paint and plaster.
5. Lighting is inadequate in public areas; bulbs are
6. Three dumbwaiters are not sealed.
7. Elevator fan is in off position.
The inspection reports also showed that the following services
were restored: exposed electrical wires, defective pipes, building
entrance door lock, and superintendent.
The Commissioner has consolidated these two petitions as they
involve common questions of law and fact.
The Commissioner has also 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
reduce the rents of regulated apartments in the subject premises.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted in both petitions,
among other things, that all repairs noted in the tenants'
complaints were corrected or were in progress at the time of
issuance of the Rent Administrator's orders.
The petition in PAR docket Number DG230271RO also stated that
a locked laundry room and an elevator fan were not services
required by law.
The petitions were respectively served on the tenants on March
25, 1988 and November 13, 1989.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record
the Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeals
should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code,
a tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) for a 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
repairs and maintenance.
Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction
Regulations for New York City, the Administrator may order a
decrease in the maximum rent based on a finding that there has been
a decrease in the dwelling space, essential services, furniture,
furnishings or equipment required to be provided.
The record shows that a Notice and Transmittal of Tenants'
complaint was mailed to the owner on July 15, 1987 in docket number
BD210126B and on May 27, 1988 in docket number CD230087B at the
owner's correct address but that the owner failed to submit answers
below. It is clear that the Rent Administrator respectively issued
orders on October 29, 1987 and June 22, 1989 and the owner,
therefore, had over three months to complete all necessary repairs,
which were the subject of docket number BD210126B and over one year
to correct those service conditions which were the subject of
docket number CD230087B, but had failed to do so.
The Commissioner finds that the Administrator based these
determinations on the entire record including the results of the
on-site physical inspections described above. The orders here
under review were correctly issued and are, therefore, affirmed.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Eviction Regulations for New York City, and the Rent Stabilization
Law and Code, it is,
ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are,
denied, and the Administrator's orders be, and the same hereby are,
Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply
for rent restoration.
Joseph A. D'Agosta