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.: CC430198RO
DOCKET NO.: BL430050HW
Nostra Realty Corp.
c\o Hi-Rise Realty Management Ltd.
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for
administrative review of an order issued on February 25, 1988
concerning the housing accommodations known as 845 West End Avenue,
New York, New York, wherein the Administrator determined that there
had been a decrease in services.
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record
and has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to
the issues raised by the petition.
The tenants commenced this proceeding by filing a complaint on
December 8, 1987, asserting that the owner did not supply heat to
the premises between October 1, and November 8, 1987.
In an answer, the owner established that a new burner and
boiler were installed during the period cited in the tenants'
complaint, noting that the installation was completed prior to
November 9, 1987.
An inspection of the subject premises was conducted on January
25, 1988 by a member of the DHCR inspection staff. On the
Administrator's instructions, the inspector measured both heat and
Where access was obtained, the inspector reported inadequate
hot water in eighteen (18) apartments, and adequate hot water in
fourteen apartments. The complaint of inadequate heat was not
confirmed. Access was not obtained to forty seven (47) apartments.
Entries in inspection report also reflected that an individual
identifying himself as the president of the tenants' association
had called and left a message that services had been restored. In
addition, in a written statement dated January 22, 1988, mailed
January 26, 1988, the Administrator was informed by the same tenant
that the condition in the complaint, presumably the lack of
adequate heat, had been resolved.
Nevertheless, on February 25, 1988, the Administrator issued
three (3) sets of orders. The Administrator granted rent
reductions to those tenants where the January 25, 1988 inspection
revealed inadequate hot water, primarily in the A,B, and C line
apartments, as well as one F line apartment. The Administrator
also directed the owner to restore services.
The Administrator denied rent reductions or terminated the
proceedings for those apartments where the inspection revealed that
heat and hot water services were adequate, or for which the tenants
failed to provide access for inspection on January 25, 1988.
In the petition for administrative review, the owner argues,
in essence, that reducing the rent for some apartments based on
findings of inadequate hot water was inconsistent with findings of
adequate hot water for other apartments. The owner also notes that
hot water was supplied to the tenants during the month-long
installation by temporary electric heaters. Copies of the owner's
appeal were served on the tenants.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the
opinion that the petition should be granted.
The tenants' complaint below alleged lack of adequate heat.
The facts set forth therein established that heat was restored as
of November 9, 1987, which was prior to the date of the complaint.
The Administrator awarded rent reductions based on findings of
inadequate hot water, which was not alleged in the complaint.
However, the lack of notice to the owner of this condition is,
alone, sufficient to preclude rent reductions. In addition,
entries in the inspector's report noting that the president of the
tenants' association had called and left a message that services
had been restored, and a signed statement by the same individual
confirming the telephone message, further compel that these rent
reductions be revoked.
Rent arrears may be due the owner from the rent controlled
tenants as a result of this order. The rent arrears shall be paid
in monthly installments which shall not exceed the amount of the
monthly rent reductions revoked herein.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code and the City Rent and Eviction Law and Regulations, it is,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,
granted, and that the Rent Administrator's orders directing that
services be restored and that rent reductions be granted to rent
controlled tenants, predicated on a finding of inadequate hot water
be, and the same hereby are, revoked.
Joseph A. D'Agosta