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.: CF430107RO
815 REALTY CO. RENT
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 29, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued June 14, 1988. The order concerned various
housing accommodations located at 815 W. 181st Street, New York,
N.Y. The Administrator directed restoration of services and ordered
a reduction of the maximum 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 September 28, 1987 when 42 of
the 68 tenants filed a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in
Building-Wide Services wherein they alleged, in sum, that the owner
was not maintaining certain required services.
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded
an opportunity to respond. The owner did not file a response.
The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject
building. The inspection was conducted on February 19, 1988 and
revealed the following:
1. Vestibule ceiling has peeling paint and plaster,
2. Fire escape is rusted,
3. Elevator inspection certificate missing.
All other services were found to have been maintained.
The Administrator issued the order here under review on June
14, 1988. With regard to rent controlled tenants, the
Administrator ordered a $7.00 per month rent reduction for the
conditions regarding the peeling paint and plaster on the vestibule
ceiling and the rusted fire escape. The missing elevator
inspection certificate was not mentioned. The Administrator did
not order a rent reduction for rent stabilized tenants but,
instead, directed restoration of services including the elevator
On appeal the owner states, in substance, that it was never
notified that the complaint had been filed, that it had no
opportunity to defend itself or correct the conditions, that the
conditions were corrected prior to the issuance of the order here
under review, that the Administrator improperly ordered a rent
reduction for rent controlled tenants who did not sign the
complaint and that the Administrator issued a rent reduction for
rent controlled tenants while denying a rent reduction for rent
stabilized tenants based on the same inspection report. The
petition was served on the tenants on August 29, 1988.
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 instant complaint was served
on the owner at the proper address. The owner failed to file a
response. It is well settled that the scope of review in an
administrative appeal is limited to facts or evidence submitted to
the Rent Administrator unless it can be shown that such facts or
evidence could not have been presented. The owner has failed to
excuse the default herein. Accordingly, the owner may not now
present defenses to the merits of the proceeding.
With regard to the owner's argument regarding the rent
controlled tenants who did not sign the complaint, the Commissioner
notes that pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction
Regulations, the Administrator is authorized to order a decrease in
the maximum rent based on a finding of failure to maintain
services. The rent reduction is to be in an amount which the
Administrator finds to be the reduction in value of the housing
accommodations because of the decrease in services. Essential
services are defined in Section 2200.3 to include repairs,
decorating and maintenance. In this proceeding the rent controlled
tenant of Apt. 2C signed this building-wide complaint. Therefore,
the maximum rents of all the rent controlled tenants in the
building were properly reduced by $7.00 per month to reflect the
reduction in rental value to their apartments.
With regard to the fact that the Administrator granted a rent
reduction for rent controlled tenants while ordering restoration of
services only for rent stabilized tenants, the Commissioner finds
that the Administrator correctly ordered a rent reduction for rent
controlled tenants based on the report of the inspector. While a
rent reduction for rent stabilized tenants may also have been
warranted pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization
Code, the rent stabilized tenants have not filed administrative
appeals on this issue. The owner has not been aggrieved by the
Administrator's failure to order a rent reduction for rent
stabilized tenants and, therefore, cannot be heard to complain that
the Administrator erred. The order here under review is affirmed.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and
Rent and Eviction Regulations it is
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