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 GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
AND REVOKING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On September 28, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
timely petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued
on August 24, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the
housing accommodations known as various apartments, at 1120 Wyatt
Street, Bronx, New York, wherein the Administrator determined that
the owner was not maintaining certain services, directed restora-
tion 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 on February 1, 1988, 57 tenants of the 98
apartments in the subject building joined in filing a complaint of
decrease in building-wide services. Specifically, the tenants
alleged that there is inadequate heat and hot water, the elevator
frequently stops because the fuse blows, there are rats all over
the building, there are cracked windows in the halls which are a
hazard to children, the lock on the front door is constantly
broken, the radiators have been removed from the halls and the
building is cold, and the intercom is not working.
In answer to the complaint, the owner stated that the elevator is
adequately maintained pursuant to a service contract, that extermi-
nation services are provided on a regular basis, that some of the
hallway windows are cracked but they are safety glass and do not
pose any hazard, that the lock on the front door is changed when
broken, that radiators in the halls are not necessary because there
are risers which serve the same purpose, and that the intercom is
repaired as needed. The owner submitted copies of various receipts
and service contracts in support of the answer.
A physical inspection by DHCR on March 25, 1988, revealed that hot
water was being provided but heat was not required on that day, the
elevator was operable, there was no evidence of rat infestation in
the public areas, there were cracked window panes on the 2nd, 3rd,
4th, 5th and 6th floors, the front door lock was not defective, the
radiators in the public hallways have been removed and the intercom
is not defective.
A second inspection on May 27, 1988 revealed that the radiators
were still missing from the public hallways, heat was not required
because the outside temperature was 82@, and there were two cracked
windows - one on the first floor and one on the sixth floor.
Based on this inspection report, the Rent Administrator issued
orders on August 24, 1988 reducing the rent for all rent controlled
tenants in the building by $19.00 per month for all stabilized
tenants who signed the complaint, the rent was reduced by the
percentage of the most recent guidelines adjustment.
In the petition for administrative review, the owner, through
counsel, asserts that radiators have not been used to heat the
hallways for twenty-five years, that risers provide adequate heat,
and that the windows were corrected prior to the issuance of the
challenged order. The owner submitted copies of bills for window
repairs made in March and April 1988.
Numerous tenants filed an identical response in which they conceded
that the hallway windows have been taken care of but the windows in
individual apartments are defective. The tenants' answer made no
mention of the hallway radiators but asserted that other conditions
mentioned in the complaint remain defective and were not properly
inspected by DHCR.
After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the Commis-
sioner is of the opinion that the owner's petition should be
granted and the rent reduction orders should be revoked.
The tenants complained that the public hallways of the building are
cold because the radiators had been removed. The owner responded
that the halls are adequately heated by risers. The two inspectors
by the Division failed to reveal inadequate heat. The absence of
radiators does not warrant a rent reduction if adequate heat is
being provided by some other source. There was no finding in the
instant proceeding that the public hallways were not being heated
to the required temperature.
With regard to the windows, the first inspection found numerous
cracked window panes on every floor except the first. The owner
claimed that as a result of the complaint, a comprehensive effort
was made to replace all cracked windows throughout the building.
The second inspection, which found only two cracked panes, one on
the first floor and one on the sixth, confirms that the conditions
reported in the first inspection were substantially repaired but
new conditions appeared, of which the owner was never given notice.
In this condition, a rent reduction is also not warranted.
The Division's records reveal that the owner's rent restoration
application was granted on May 30, 1989 (Docket No. CI630164OR).
Rent controlled tenants may pay any arrears due as a result of this
order in installments of $19.00 per month. Stabilized tenants may
pay such arrears in six equal monthly installments. It is noted,
however, that the automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement
for rent stabilized tenants 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,
and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted,
and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby, is
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA