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.: CB130248RO
CRYSTAL GARDENS ASSOCIATES RENT
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On February 4, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued January 5, 1988. The order concerned housing
accommodations located at 190-25 Woodhull Avenue, Hollis, N.Y..
The Administrator directed restoration of services and further
ordered a reduction of the 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 July 9, 1987 when 30 of the
110 tenants of the subject building joined in the filing of a
Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide Services
wherein they alleged the following services deficiencies:
1. Dirty hallway floors and stairwells,
2. Dirty incinerator rooms; garbage chutes too small,
3. Hallway walls dirty and in need of painting,
4. Elevators out of order,
5. Laundry room not kept in clean and sanitary
condition; dirty machines, table and floor; laundry
room open to public,
6. Entrance doors in need of repair; front entrance
door glass window cracked,
7. Garbage, refuse and wastes not removed from front
of building over weekends.
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
apartment. The inspection was conducted on November 20, 1987 and
revealed the following:
1. Hallways and stairwell walls in poor condition,
holes in walls, peeling paint and plaster,
2. Elevator has broken glass windows throughout,
3. Entrance door glass cracked and broken.
The Administrator issued the order here under review on
January 5, 1988 and ordered a rent reduction equal to the most
recent guideline adjustment based on the inspector's report.
On appeal the owner, through counsel, states that it was never
served with a copy of the complaint. It then proceeds to raise
certain arguments in requesting that the order here under review be
reversed. Various tenants filed responses to the petition and
stated that the petition should be denied and the order should be
affirmed, because repairs have not been done.
After careful review of the evidence in the record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.
The Commissioner notes that the scope of review in an
administrative appeal is limited to facts or evidence submitted to
the Rent Administrator unless such facts or evidence could not have
been so presented. The owner did not respond to the complaint.
The Commissioner finds that the complaint was properly served on
the registered owner at the proper address as indicated by DHCR
records. Since the owner is presumed to have had notice of this
proceeding and did not respond, the claims that the owner raises
for the first time on appeal are beyond the scope of review of this
appeal and cannot be considered.
The Commissioner notes that, pursuant to Section 2523.4 (a) a
tenant may apply for a rent reduction and the DHCR shall reduce the
rent upon a finding of failure to maintain required services.
Repairs and maintenance are within the definition of required
services. The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly
based these determinations on the entire record, including the
results of the on-site physical inspection which took place on
November 20, 1987, and which revealed a failure to maintain
services for which a rent reduction is warranted. The order here
under review is affirmed.
The Commissioner notes that the owner filed for rent
restoration and that application was denied on December 27, 1990 in
an order bearing Docket No. EJ130003OR. The owner may reapply for
rent restoration when services have been completely restored.
It is also noted that the enforcement and effectuation of this
order was stayed by order of the Supreme Court dated April 26, 1988
(DiTucci, J., Index No. 3580-88) pending a final judicial
determination reversing, modifying or affirming said order.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it
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