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.:
BOSTON ROAD ASSOCIATES, LTD.,
PETITIONER BI 610018-B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 20, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition
for administrative review of an order issued on May 27, 1988, by
the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommodation known
as 2190 Boston Road, Bronx, New York, various apartments, wherein
the Administrator determined that the maximum legal rent for rent
controlled apartments should be reduced by $3.00 per month based
upon a diminution of services and further determined that the sole
complaining rent stabilized tenant was not entitled to a rent
reduction. However, the owner was directed to restore services to
the required level by correcting the condition in question. The
Rent Administrator's order was based upon an inspection held on
January 21, 1988, which showed inter alia, that the top floor wall
by the skylight is damaged due to an outside leak and that the
stairways were peeling paint and plaster.
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 regulated apartments in the subject
building and whether the Rent Administrator properly directed a
restoration of services for Apartment 4-D.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted that it took title to the
premises on January 22, 1988, after the tenants had filed the
complaint of a decrease in building-wide services on August 26,
1987 and that as such it should not be held liable for a previous
owner's derelictions and further that not all tenants requested a
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the Administrative appeal
should be denied.
Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations provides that
an owner's failure to maintain services may result in an order of
decrease in maximum rent, in an amount determined by the discretion
of the Rent Administrator.
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 and essential services are defined in Section 2520.6(r)
and Section 2200.3(b) to include repairs and maintenance.
The Commissioner has considered the owner's claims on appeal and
finds them to be without merit.
A review of the file shows that the tenants' filed a complaint of
a decrease in building-wide services, on August 26,1987, and that
they applied for a rent reduction. The box on the application form
(RA-84) is clearly checked; designating that a rent reduction was
requested. The Commissioner notes, however, that even if the rent
controlled tenants did not check the box on the complaint form
requesting a rent reduction, it would not be material because pur-
suant to Section 2202.16 rent controlled tenants are not required
to apply for a rent reduction before qualifying for one.
The owner's claim that a new owner should not be held responsible
for a prior owner's dereliction is also without basis.
The record reflects that Boston Road Associates, Ltd. had partici-
pated in the appeal process holding itself out as the owner of the
premises, on June 15, 1988, to report on the status of the condi-
tions and repairs being effected in the building.
The record also demonstrates that the owner took title to the
subject building on January 22, 1988 and that the complaint was
filed on September 11, 1987.
As a new owner, Boston Road Associates, Ltd. had the responsibility
to obtain information from a prior owner regarding any tenant com-
plaints filed with the Division. Such a new owner acquires title
to the premises subject to the rights and liabilities of its prede-
cessor in interest, and therefore remains responsible for remedying
any decrease in services determined by the Administrator.
The Commissioner finds, therefore, that the petitioner is deemed to
have knowledge of the instant proceeding at the time it took owner-
ship of the premises.
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 January 21, 1988 and that
pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations
the Rent Administrator acted within his discretion to reduce the
rents upon determining that the owner had failed to maintain
services. The Rent Administrator also acted properly in directing
the owner to restore services to the rent stabilized tenant in
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's deter-
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and Evic-
tion Regulations for New York City 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
Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply for
a rent restoration.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA