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.: CJ430009RO
LEWIS MARKS C/O OMNIA PROPERTIES RENT
FOR 525 WEST END CORP. ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
AFTER REOPENING AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On October 7, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued September 2, 1988. The order concerned various
housing accommodations located at 525 West End Avenue, New York,
N.Y. The Administrator directed restoration of services and
ordered a $2.00 per month rent reduction based on the owner's
failure to maintain essential services.
The Commissioner issued an order on May 7, 1990, dismissing
the owner's petition as untimely. The owner filed a request for
reconsideration of the Commissioner's order on May 18, 1990. On
June 7, 1990 the Commissioner issued an order reopening this
proceeding for a determination on the merits.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully
considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this
This proceeding was commenced on September 30, 1987 by the
filing of a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide
Services by one rent controlled tenant wherein it was alleged that
the incinerators had been shut down by the owner and that the
hallway wallpaper was torn and dirty with the wallpaper on the 12th
floor stripped off for more than one year and never rehung.
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded
an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on December
12, 1987 and stated that it had made ongoing repairs to the
incinerator and that the building maintenance staff had seen to the
removal of refuse during the periods that the incinerator was not
functioning. With regard to the issue of the wallpaper, the owner
stated that the 12th floor wallpaper had been removed because it
had deteriorated, that a decision regarding the refurbishment of
the public areas had yet to be made and that the painting
contractor for the building had been authorized to paint the 12th
floor public hall in the interim.
On January 11, 1988 the Administrator sent the complaining
tenant a notice inquiring as to whether the items complained of had
been repaired. The tenant replied on February 2, 1988 and, in sum,
stated that the incinerator had still not been restored on a
permanent basis and that the wallpaper on the 12th and 14th floors
had been fixed but the wallpaper on all other floors had not.
The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject
building. The inspection was conducted on April 20, 1988 and
revealed that painting had not been completed for all public
hallways below the 12th floor.
The Administrator issued the order here under review on
September 2, 1988 and ordered a $2.00 per month rent reduction for
all rent controlled tenants of the subject building.
On appeal the owner states that it never received notice of
the complaint described above and that several tenants listed by
the Administrator as rent controlled are, in fact, rent stabilized.
The petition was served on the tenants on November 2, 1988.
Two tenants filed responses wherein they stated, in sum, that
the owner had not repainted the hallways in question and that the
petition should be denied.
After careful review of the evidence in the record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.
The owner's statement that it never received notice of the
complaint is controverted by the fact that it filed a response on
December 12, 1987 wherein it stated that the twelfth floor hallway
would be painted and that a decision on painting or papering the
other public hallways was pending.
With regard to the allegation regarding the tenants who are
entitled to the rent reduction, the Commissioner notes that the
complaining tenant herein is a rent controlled tenant. Section
2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations authorizes the
Administrator to order a decrease of 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 rental 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. Accordingly,
when a rent controlled tenant files a building-wide services
complaint, the maximum rent of the rent controlled tenants in the
building is reduced to reflect the reduced rental value of the
apartments. The Administrator correctly ordered a $2.00 per month
rent reduction for all rent controlled tenants in the building
based on the inspector's report.
The owner is correct, however, in stating that the
Administrator ordered a rent reduction for apartments where the
tenant in occupancy was rent stabilized and not rent controlled.
Accordingly, the Commissioner revokes the rent reduction for Apts.
2D, 3C, 3H, 3I, 4D, 4E, 5A, 5F, 6B, 6E, 6H, 6I, 7B, 7D, 8I, 8J,
10G, 12C and 12D. If any tenant of these apartments owes arrears
by reason of the Commissioner's determination herein, the arrears
may be paid off in installments of $2.00 per month. If any tenant
vacates the apartment or has previously vacated, the arrears are
due and payable immediately. The order here under review is
affirmed as modified herein.
The Commissioner notes that the owner's rent restoration
application (Docket No. EH430149OR) was granted on December 11,
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent and Eviction Regulations for
New York City 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 as modified herein.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA