ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS.: CB 130183 RO & CC 110145 RO




                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          ------------------------------------X 
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NOS.:                
                                                 CB 130183 RO;
                                                 CC 110415 RO
                                              :
                                                 RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S        
                                                 DOCKET NOS.:  
                                                 BH 130148 B   
                                                 BJ 110020 B
              HAMPTON COURT                            
           BY MARSHALL SROGE
                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X                             

          .ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING OWNER'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE
                 REVIEW UNDER DOCKET NO. CB  130183 RO, AND REVOKING
                ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER, AND GRANTING OWNER'S PETITION
                     FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW UNDER DOCKET NO.
                                CC 110415 RO IN PART

               The above-named petitioner-owner filed timely Petitions for 
          Administrative Review (PARs) against orders issued on January 8, 
          1988 under Docket No. BH 130148 B, and on February 18, 1988 under 
          Docket No. BJ 110020 B, by the Rent Administrator at Gertz Plaza, 
          Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known as 
          117-01 Park Lane South, Queens, New York, wherein the Administrator 
          determined the tenants' complaints of reductions in building-wide 
          services.

               The tenants' complaint under Docket No. BH 130148 B alleged, 
          among other items, a defective bell/intercom system, defective 
          laundry room equipment, open building doors resulting in lack of 
          building security, and defective elevators.  The tenants' complaint  
          under Docket No. BJ 110020 B cited inadequate superintendent 
          services and reiterated the complaints of defective laundry room 
          equipment and the defective bell/intercom system.  The records also 
          show that some tenants signed both complaints.
               
















          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS.: CB 130183 RO & CC 110145 RO

               Both complaints were served on the owner, who filed separate 
          responses by certified mail.  The owner asserted that 
          superintendent, maintenance, cleaning, laundry room, exterminator 
          and elevator services were properly maintained and were adequate 
          and that, in fact, the intercom system, building doors, elevator 
          equipment and laundry room equipment had recently either been 
          upgraded or replaced.
               
               The challenged order under Docket No. BH 130148 B, issued on 
          January 28, 1988, reduced the tenants' rents based on the results 
          of an inspection conducted on December 4, 1988 that found that the 
          A-G line elevator was inoperative, that the roof and basement doors 
          were unlocked at the time of inspection, and that four washers and 
          two dryers were defective.  The intercom system was found to be 
          working properly.

               The order under Docket No. BH 110020 B issued on February 18, 
          1988, granted tenants' rent reductions based on the results of an 
          inspection conducted on January 6, 1988 that found that the new 
          intercom system was not working.

               The status of the tenants was not known.  Accordingly, both 
          orders directed the tenants to apply the appropriate rent control 
          or rent stabilization provisions for the rent reductions specified. 
          Amended orders were issued on January 10, 1990 for Docket No. BJ 
          110020 B to correct the omission of the various rent controlled 
          apartments from the original February 1988 order.  All other 
          aspects of the order remained in full force and effect.

               The owner filed similar administrative appeals challenging 
          each of the orders, and requesting that rent reductions be 
          reversed.

               The applicable law is Section 2520.6(r) and 2523.4 of the Rent 
          Stabilization Code and Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction 
          Regulations.

               In both appeals, the owner suggests that the complaints were 
          not received and that the owner did not have the opportunity to 
          respond.  The claims are belied by the owner's timely responses by 
          certified mail in both cases.

               In PAR Docket No. CB 130183 RO, appealing District Rent Office 
          Docket No. BH 130148 B, the owner claims, as below, that extensive 
          renovations were in the process of being completed for several 
          building systems at the time of the tenants' complaint and the 




          agency's inspection on December 4, 1987.  The owner asserts that,  
          in particular, the elevator and laundry room equipment was 






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS.: CB 130183 RO & CC 110145 RO

          inoperative for brief periods, as upgrades and replacement mandated 
          interruptions of service.

               In fact, the January 6, 1988 inspection in the related, albeit 
          separate, proceedings under Docket No. BJ 110020 B confirmed that 
          the A-G apartment line elevator was operative and that laundry room 
          equipment was being installed at the time of inspection, prior to 
          the January 28, 1988 issue date of the challenged order.  Since the 
          Administrator had notice that the conditions had been corrected or 
          that equipment was being upgraded, the tenants were not entitled to 
          rent reductions for these conditions.

               Concerning the roof and basement doors, City ordinances 
          require that roof doors be self-closing, but not self-locking.  In 
          fact, the equipment must permit the roof door to be opened from the 
          inside without a key in case of emergency, while preventing 
          unauthorized access from the outside.  The use of a hook and eye 
          latch is expressly permitted; panic bar systems are also permitted.  

               It is not clear from the inspection record that, in fact, the 
          unlocked roof door violated any ordinance or that the situation was 
          chronic.  The report of an open unlocked basement door is also  
          insufficient to support a finding of a reduction of services absent 
          evidence that the door unit was broken or defective or that the 
          situation was chronic.  The owner has suggested that the condition 
          found was tenant induced as the tenants have keys to the basement 
          door.  

               The owner points out that the owner is providing additional 
          security, not base date services, in the form of a 24-hour security 
          patrol, and a closed circuit television monitoring system.  While 
          the record is insufficient to establish a reduction of services 
          with regard to the roof and basement doors, the owner is cautioned 
          to insure that the doors remain closed in addition to maintaining 
          required equipment.

               In PAR Docket No. CC 110145 RO, appealing District Rent Office 
          Docket No. BJ 110020 B, the owner similarly requested that rent 
          reductions were not warranted as the owner was in the process of 
          completing renovation of the intercom system.  However, the owner 
          failed to indicate below and on appeal, the date of the 
          installation.  The prior December 4, 1987 inspection in the related 
          proceedings found the intercom system to be working properly.  The 
          owner's contention that the renovations required a brief 
          interruption of service for installation does not explain the 
          defects found on the January 8, 1988 inspection, which appear to 


          have arisen after the installation of the new equipment.  The fact 
          that new equipment had been installed to insure upgraded service 
          did not abate the owner's responsibility to maintain and repair it 
          if it was broken or defective.  












          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS.: CB 130183 RO & CC 110145 RO


               The owner is correct, however, that since the system was found 
          to be working properly on December 4, 1987, rent reductions for 
          rent stabilized tenants retroactive to December 1, 1987 were 
          improper.  The effective date for rent rollbacks for rent 
          stabilized tenants is amended to January 1, 1988.  Rent controlled 
          tenants were not affected as their rent reductions were effective 
          prospectively, as of the first rent payment date following the 
          February 18, 1988 issue date of the order.

               Only tenants in the affected building were entitled to rent 
          reductions for a defective intercom system.  The owner indicates 
          that the premises consists of an apartment complex made up of four 
          separate multiple dwellings consisting of six floors each.  As the 
          owner has acknowledged, most of the tenants benefitting from the 
          Administrator's order resided in one of the four buildings on the 
          premises, i.e., the "A" building.  The Commissioner notes that all 
          rent controlled tenants of the subject premises were entitled to a 
          rent decrease due to a reduction of building wide services 
          regardless of whether they signed the complaint, since the 
          complaint was signed by at least one rent controlled tenant.  Rent 
          stabilized tenants must sign a complaint in order to be eligible 
          for rent reductions.  In fact, most rent reductions were granted to 
          rent controlled tenants.  The order is amended to revoke rent 
          reductions granted to any tenants who did not reside in the "A" 
          building.    

               For rent controlled tenants, specific monetary reductions are 
          imposed for each service reduction, and the Administrator may grant 
          partial rent restoration or refunds.  For rent stabilized tenants, 
          rent reductions are imposed for any service decrease, and no 
          further rent reduction may be imposed for any additional service 
          decrease.  The owner may not collect any increase or rent 
          restoration until the Administrator issues an order restoring the 
          rent based on the restoration of all outstanding services 
          reductions.

               Any arrears due the owner from the tenants as a result of this 
          order may be paid by the tenants over the course of the next three 
          months.

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code, the City Rent Control Law and the Rent 
          and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it is 


               ORDERED, that the owner's petition under Docket No. CC 110145 
          RO be granted to the extent that rent reductions for stabilized 
          tenants granted under Docket No. BJ 110020 B be effective January 
          1, 1988 instead of December 1,1987, as provided on the order.  In 
          all other respects the order is affirmed.  It is further 







          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS.: CB 130183 RO & CC 110145 RO

               ORDERED, that the owner's petition under PAR Docket No. CB 
          130183 RO be granted, that the Administrator's order be revoked, 
          and that arrears due the owner by tenants as a result of this order 
          be refunded as provided above.

          ISSUED:



                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner




                                                    







    

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