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.: CD130181RO
LEFFERTS GROVE CO., DOCKET NO.: BI140048B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW, IN
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for
administrative review of an order issued on March 14, 1988
concerning the housing accommodations known as 43-42 45th Street,
Queens, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined that
certain conditions in the building constituted building-wide
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 the proceedings by filing a complaint
asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain services in
the subject building.
In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in
the complaint or otherwise asserted that all required repairs had
been or will be completed.
Thereafter an inspection of the subject building was conducted
by a D.H.C.R. inspector who observed two roof doors that did not
lock and were not-self closing, a third roof door that was not
self-closing, two elevators that did not level properly at various
landings, an inoperative elevator ceiling fan, and cracked steps in
front of the premises.
The Administrator's order directed restoration of these
services, and further, ordered a reduction of the rent controlled
In the petition for administrative review, the owner requests
reversal of the order, disputing each of the Administrator's
findings on various grounds. Copies of the owner's petition were
served on the tenants.
The City Building and Housing Maintenance Codes require that
roof door equipment must permit the door to be opened from the
inside in case of emergency, while preventing unauthorized access
from the outside. Hook and eye latches and panic bar closing
systems are approved mechanisms to secure the premises from outside
entry while permitting the roof doors to be opened from inside
without a key. The owner stated below that the doors were equipped
with hook and eye latches, and confirms on appeal the inspector's
observations below that roof door locks were not operative. The
Commissioner concurs that rent reductions were not warranted for
the condition based on the record presented.
The City Codes also require that roof doors be self-closing.
The owner's further claim that the three roof doors closed properly
is belied by the DHCR inspector's observations, which were entitled
to, and afforded, great weight. The owner's bare assertion on
appeal that the conditions were tenant-induced ignores that owners
are responsible to repair and maintain the equipment under such
Rent controlled rent reductions of $3.00 per month for each of
two (2) roof doors were for failure to close and lock properly. As
to the third roof door, the Administrator assessed a $1.00 per
month rent reduciton. Rent controlled rent reductions of $1.00 per
month for each of the three (3) roof doors, for failure to close,
were warranted, and should be affirmed. However, rent reductions
of $2.00 allocatable to each of two (2) roof doors for failure to
lock should be revoked.
Concerning the elevators, the Commissioner notes that the
tenants complained that the elevators were periodically
inoperative. The DHCR inspector found that the elevators were
operational, albeit not levelling properly. Based on the fact that
condition found was not the condition cited in the complaint, and
in the absence of evidence that the owner was cited for violations
for the condition, a determination of decreased services,
sufficient to give rise to rent reductions, was not warranted.
Rent reductions rent based on a defective elevator fan are
similarly revoked in the absence of evidence that the owner was
cited for violations.
The Administrator also awarded rent reductions based on
findings that steps in front of the premises were cracked.
However, the tenants had complained that the pavement in the front
of the building was cracked. The inspector reported that there was
no evidence that the pavement was cracked or broken, albeit noting
the defective steps. The lack of notice to the owner of the
condition precluded rent reductions. The owner's request to revoke
these rent reductions should therefore be granted.
Partial rent arrears of $24.00 per month may be due the owner
from the rent controlled tenants as a result of this order, as
1. Roof doors locks inoperative due to missing strike
plate (2x$2.00) $ 4.00
2. Elevators not levelling with hallway floors on
three (3) landings (3 x $5.00). $15.00
3. Inoperative elevator ceiling fan. $ 2.00
4. Cracked steps in front of premises. $ 3.00
The rent arrears shall be paid in monthly installments which
shall not exceed the amount of the monthly rent reduction revoked
herein ($24.00), subject to any adjustments paid pursuant to the
partial rent restoration on July 6, 1989 per Docket Number
CJ130134OR, effective August 1, 1989.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the applicable 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 this petition be, and the same hereby is,
granted, in part, to the extent of amending the Administrator's
order to revoke rent reductions granted based on findings of
inoperative roof door locks, elevators not levelling, an
inoperative elevator fan, and cracked steps. Rent reductions
predicated on the failure of roof doors to close properly are
Joseph A. D'Agosta