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.: CA 430204 RO
B. ENGLANDER DISTRICT RENT
NO.: BF 420026 B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On January 27, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued December 23, 1987. The order concerned
housing accommodations located at 41 Bennett Street, New York, N.Y.
wherein the Administrator ordered a building-wide rent reduction
for rent controlled tenants based on a finding of failure to
maintain required or essential services.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully
considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this
This proceeding was commenced on June 16, 1987 when tenants of
22 of the 37 apartments in the building joined in the filing a
Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide Services. They
alleged the following services deficiencies:
1. Trash not collected daily
2. Inadequate security in that basement and front door
3. Elevator frequently out of order
4. Defective intercom system
5. Inadequate hot water
6. Building often unattended
7. Strangers in and out of building
8. Washing machines often inoperative
9. Holes in roof causing water leaks
The complaint was served on the owner and an opportunity to respond
The owner filed a response on September 3, 1987 wherein he
stated that the complaint herein was a duplicate of a previous
complaint (Docket No. BF 410058 HW). He enclosed a copy of a
response to that prior complaint wherein he stated: that trash is
collected daily, that the doors are now secured, that the elevator
is under maintenance and in good working order, that the intercom
system is in good working order, that the boiler is new and is
working properly, that a full time superintendent and porter are
living on premises, that strangers are not on the premises or using
the washing machines, that the washing machines are in working
condition, and that the roof had been repaired.
The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the
premises. The inspection was carried out on October 21, 1987 and
revealed garbage accumulation in the basement. All other services
were found to have been maintained.
The Administrator issued the order here under review on
December 23, 1987. Pursuant to 9 NYCRR 2202.16 the Administrator
ordered a $3.00 per month rent reduction for all rent controlled
tenants, based on the inspector's report. With regard to rent
stabilized tenants, since no rent reduction had been requested, the
Administrator issued an order directing restoration of services.
On appeal the owner states that he was never served with a
copy of the complaint and that the garbage was removed months
before the rent reduction order was issued. Two tenants filed
responses wherein they stated that there was still a garbage
accumulation in the basement.
After careful review of the evidence in the record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.
Petitioner's first statement, to the effect that he was not
served with a copy of the complaint, is contradicted by the fact
that he filed a response which was received by the Administrator on
September 8, 1987. Thus, this ground for appeal must be rejected.
With regard to the statement that the garbage accumulation had
been removed months before the order here under review was issued,
petitioner statements are at variance with the inspector's report.
It is settled that the report of a DHCR inspector is entitled to
more probative weight than the unsupported allegations of a party
to the proceeding. The Commissioner also notes the two tenant
responses to the petition, wherein both stated that there is still
garbage accumulation in the basement.
Pursuant to 9 NYCRR 2202.16 the Rent Administrator was
empowered to order a rent reduction in the maximum rent in an
amount determined by the reasonable exercise of discretion. The
record in the instant proceeding reveals that the tenants
complained about certain conditions at the premises and a physical
inspection confirmed that these conditions indeed existed. The
Commissioner notes that while the owner questioned the findings of
fact the record clearly reflects those findings by virtue of the
DHCR inspection which occurred on October 21, 1987. The
Administrator's order is,therefore, affirmed.
The Commissioner notes that the owner has applied for rent
restoration and that said application was granted on May 24, 1988.
(see Docket No. BL 520094 OR)
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and
Rent and Eviction Regulations it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner