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.: CA410378RO
ARTNOR REALTY CO. RENT
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
AND REVOKING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On April 19, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner timely
refiled a Petition for Administrative Review against an order of
the Rent Administrator issued October 20, 1987. The order concerned
housing accommodations known as Apt 4-C located at 60 E. 12th
Street, New York, N.Y. The Administrator ordered a rent reduction
for failure to maintain required services.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully
considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this
The tenant commenced this proceeding on August 18, 1986 by
filing a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services wherein he
alleged that he moved into the apartment in 1982; that unlike other
tenants in the building he never had an air conditioner in the
living room; that when he complained to the owner he was given a
used air conditioner in July, 1986 which does not function
properly; and that he was told by the owner that he, the tenant, is
responsible for maintenance and repair. The proceeding was assigned
Docket No. AH410565S.
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded
an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on September
26, 1986 and stated that the tenant's leases clearly state that the
air conditioner maintenance is not the responsibility of the
landlord, that the owner stopped servicing and installing air
conditioners in 1968, that the tenant was aware of this policy and
that, consequently, the complaint should be denied.
The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject
apartment. The inspection was conducted on November 10, 1986. The
inspector reported that the inspection could not determine the
complaint because the outside temperature did not warrant the use
of an air conditioner. The Administrator issued an order on
February 20, 1987 wherein the complaint was denied.
On August 10, 1987 the Administrator ordered the proceeding
reopened and the order described above revoked because the
inspection had ben conducted on a day when the operating condition
of the air conditioner could not be determined. The proceeding was
now assigned Docket No. BH410002RP. The Administrator ordered an
inspection of the apartment. The inspection was conducted on
August 11, 1987. The inspector reported that the air conditioner
was defective and operates at an inadequate degree level.
Specifically, the inspector reported that, with the air conditioner
operating at the maximum level, the apartment temperature was 80
degrees when the outside temperature was 64 degrees.
The Administrator issued the order here under review on
October 20, 1987 and ordered a rent reduction of an amount equal to
one guideline adjustment based on the above report of the
inspector. The Administrator noted that the air conditioner was
not operating within accepted industry standards.
On appeal the owner states, in sum, that it attempted to
install a properly working air conditioner in the subject apartment
in August, 1987. The owner further states that the tenant refused
to allow the owner to install the air conditioner and instead
demanded a brand new one. The owner argues that it fulfilled any
responsibility it had and that the Administrator incorrectly
ordered a rent reduction. The owner attached to the petition
copies of certified letters sent to the DHCR on August 31, 1987 and
November 3, 1987. These letters are offered in support of the
owner's contention that it made a good faith effort to correct the
problem with the air conditioner.
After careful review of the evidence in the record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted
and the order here under review should be revoked.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record of this proceeding
after it was ordered reopened and notes that the Administrator's
order of reopening is dated August 10, 1987. The request for a
reinspection of the apartment was made on August 5, 1987 with the
actual inspection taking place on August 11, 1987. It is clear
from these facts that the owner was not afforded sufficient notice
that the proceeding was being reopened and had no opportunity to
respond before the inspection took place. This constitutes a
failure to afford due process. Accordingly, the Commissioner is of
the opinion that the order here under review must be revoked.
The Commissioner notes that the owner applied for rent
restoration and that the application was granted on February 2,
1989 (Docket No. CE410109OR). The Division's records reveal that
the complaining tenant has vacated the apartment. Therefore, any
arrears due and owing the owner by reason of this determination are
due and payable immediately.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,
granted, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, revoked.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA