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.: CA630328RO
PAULDING DEVELOPMENT CO. RENT
SEYMOUR MAIZES ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW AND
MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On January 28, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner timely
refiled a Petition for Administrative Review against an order of
the Rent Administrator issued November 2, 1987. The order concerned
various housing accommodations located at 2121 Paulding Avenue,
Bronx, N.Y. The Administrator directed restoration of services and
ordered a reduction of the maximum and stabilized legal rents.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully
considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this
This proceeding was commenced on February 5, 1987 when 66 of
the 121 tenants filed a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in
Building-Wide Services wherein they alleged, in substance, that the
owner was not maintaining certain required or essential services.
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded
an opportunity to respond. The owner failed to file a response.
The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject
building. The inspection was conducted on May 15, 1987. The
building was reinspected on May 18 and May 19, 1987. The
inspections revealed the following:
1. Vents in public hallways not functioning
effectively on all floors,
2. Public halls need touch up with paint in the area
of the East and West sides,
3. Entrance of building littered,
4. Fence needs repair in front of building. Entire
landscaping grass needs cutting and cleaning,
5. Evidence of leak above entrance,
6. Swings removed from playground and three lights
The Administrator issued the order here under review on
November 2, 1987. The Administrator set forth the inspector's
report but, in the first finding, stated that the "public bathroom"
vents were inoperative instead of the "public hallway" vents
reported by the inspector. The Administrator ordered a rent
reduction of $26.00 per month for rent controlled tenants and of an
amount equal to the most recent guideline adjustment for rent
On appeal the owner states that it did not receive notice of
the complaint and, therefore, was unable to file a response. The
owner then states, in substance, that the conditions cited in the
order here under review are being maintained or that the
appropriate repairs have been made. The petition was served on the
tenants on March 11, 1988.
Various tenants filed responses wherein they stated, in sum,
that the order here under review was correctly issued and should be
After careful review of the evidence in the record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied
but that the Administrator's order should be modified.
The Commissioner notes that the scope of review in an
administrative appeal is limited to facts or evidence that were
presented to the Administrator unless it can be shown that such
facts or evidence could not have been presented. The owner did not
respond to the complaint and now states that it never was served
with a copy. However, a review of DHCR records reveals that the
complaint was sent to the owner at the address listed on the
complaint and was not returned by the post office. Although the
owner indicates a different address in the petition, the Division's
records reveal that the owner did not register this address with
the Division in a timely manner or otherwise notify the
Administrator of any change in ownership or mailing address.
Therefore, the owner cannot now complain that it has been
prejudiced by the failure to receive the complaint and the matters
raised for the first time in the petition are beyond the scope of
review of this appeal.
The Commissioner notes, however, that the Administrator erred
in ordering a rent reduction for inoperative public bathroom vents.
As noted above, the DHCR inspector reported that the public hallway
vents were inoperative on all floors. Therefore, the order here
under review is modified to substitute the word "hallway" for
"bathroom" in the first finding. The order is affirmed as
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement for rent
stabilized tenants that resulted by the filing of this petition is
vacated upon issuance of this order and opinion.
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 as modified herein.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA