STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                             DOCKET NO.: CB430232RO 
                                                RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                DOCKET NO.: AJ530105B       
                    Marathon Associates,


               On February 12, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner refiled 
          a petition for administrative review of an order issued on October 
          1, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing 
          accommodations known as 655 West 160th Street, New York, N.Y., 
          various apartments, wherein the Administrator determined that the 
          rent for rent stabilized apartments should be reduced to the level 
          in effect prior to the last rent guideline increase which commenced 
          before the effective date of the order based upon a diminution of 
          services and further determined that the maximum legal rent for 
          rent controlled apartments should be reduced by $17.00 per month 
          based upon a diminution of services.  The Rent Administrator's 
          order was based upon an inspection held on February 3, 1987.  The 
          Rent Administrator also directed the restoration of all services.

               The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the 
          record and has carefully considered that portion of the record 
          relevant to the issue raised by the administrative appeal.

               The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly 
          reduced the rents of various rent stabilized and rent controlled 
          apartments in the subject building.

               On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted that it acquired the 
          premises in October 1986 and was never given enough time to correct 
          the conditions specified in the tenants' complaint and further that 
          the service deficiencies noted in the appealed order have all been 

               The petition was served on the tenants on May 16, 1988.  The 
          tenants did not answer the petition.


               After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record 
          the Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal 
          should be denied.

               Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, 
          a tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal 
          (DHCR) for a reduction of the legal regulated rent to the level in 
          effect prior to the most recent guidelines adjustment, and the DHCR 
          shall so reduce the rent for the period for which it is found that 
          the owner has failed to maintain required services.

               Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include 
          repairs and maintenance.

               For rent controlled tenants, Section 2202.16 of the Rent and 
          Eviction Regulations  provides that a finding that an owner has 
          failed to maintain services may result in an order of decrease in 
          maximum rent, in an amount determined by the discretion of the Rent 

               The record shows that a Notice and Transmittal of Tenants' 
          complaint was mailed to the owner on December 1, 1986 at the 
          owner's correct address but that the owner failed to submit an 
          answer below.

               The owner stated, on appeal, that it acquired the premises in 
          October, 1986 almost two months prior to the date the above notice 
          was mailed.

               The Commissioner finds, therefore, that the owner failed to 
          answer the tenants' complaint and that the inspection confirmed the 
          existence of those conditions specified in the tenants' complaint.

               Nearly eleven months had elapsed form the time a copy of the 
          tenants' complaint was mailed to the owner to the time the Rent 
          Administrator's order was issued on October 1, 1987.

               A review of the record before the Administrator clearly shows 
          that the owner did not submit any evidence that the deficiencies 
          noted on the inspector's report were completed in a workmanlike 
          manner at the time of the DHCR's inspection or at any time prior to 
          the issuance of the Administrator's order.

               The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based 
          his determination on the entire record, including the results of 
          the on-site physical inspection conducted on February 3, 1987 and 
          that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code  and Section 2203.16 
          of the Rent and Eviction Regulations the Administrator was mandated 
          to reduce the rent upon determining that the owner had failed to 
          maintain services.


               Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the owner has offered 
          insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's 

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

               ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          denied, and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby 
          is, affirmed.

               Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply 
          for a rent restoration.

               As regards the rent stabilized tenants the automatic stay of 
          the retroactive rent abatement that resulted by the filing of this 
          petition is vacated upon issuance of this order and opinion.


                                                  Joseph A. D'Agosta         
                                                  Deputy Commissioner        



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