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.:
SILMAN REALTY COMPANY,
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On September 29, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
timely petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued
on August 30, 1988, concerning the housing accommodation known as
Apartment 5-O, 1120 Wyatt Street, Bronx, New York, wherein the
Administrator determined that the owner was not maintaining
required services, directed restoration of such services, and
ordered a rent reduction.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the administrative appeal.
The record reveals that the tenant commenced the proceeding below
by filing a complaint of decrease in services alleging that the
walls and windows have some type of mold which attracts insects,
the "window string is hanging", the stove and refrigerator are
defective, there are a lot of water bugs coming from the basement,
the bathroom light switch is out of order, and the closet needs to
In an answer to the complaint dated March 18, 1988, the owner
stated that the refrigerator was checked and was found to be
operating properly, the stove was changed, the bathroom light was
fixed, the mold is caused by excessive heat and moisture in the
apartment but the tenant washed it down, and an exterminating
service is provided once a month.
An inspection by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) on July 5, 1988, revealed black mold on the bathroom walls,
ceiling and window that required immediate attention, the living
room right bottom window balance was broken, and there was evidence
of water bugs. Other conditions complained of were found to have
Based on this inspection report, the Rent Administrator issued the
order appealed herein.
The owner asserts in the petition that the black mold had been
washed off by the tenant when the owner inspected the apartment but
had reappeared by the time the Division inspected, that the ten-
ant's complaint did not specify which window was defective but the
super fixed the defective spring at the time of the original
inspection by the owner, and that the exterminator treated the
apartment for infestation in response to the complaint and again
on September 15, 1988. The owner submitted receipts showing
repairs to the living room window on September 6, 1988, extermina-
tion service provided on September 15, 1988, and painting of the
bathroom on September 6, 1988.
The petition was served on the tenant on October 14, 1988.
After careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.
Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code requires DHCR to
order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant, based on a
finding that an owner has failed to maintain required services.
Required services are defined by Section 2520.6(r) to include
repairs and maintenance.
The record in the instant case including the physical inspection,
adequately supports the Administrator's determination that the
owner failed to repair the conditions cited in the tenant's
complaint and, based on this finding, a rent reduction was
The owner failed to take adequate steps to address the mold condi-
tion but relied on the tenant's own corrective measures which were
only temporary in nature. While the tenant's complaint regarding
the window was somewhat ambiguous, the owner should have investi-
gated the condition of all windows by inspection and communication
with the tenant so that the problem reported by the DHCR inspector
would have been detected and corrected by the owner. As for the
waterbug problem, the tenant specifically stated in the complaint
that the waterbugs are coming up from the basement. The inspec-
tor's report of evidence of waterbugs confirms that the problem had
not been eradicated and that extermination of the basement area in
addition to the apartment may be required.
The Division's records reveal that the owner filed a rent restora-
tion application (Docket No. CI620118OR) which was granted.
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted
by the filing of the petition is vacated upon issuance of this
order and opinion.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby, is
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA