STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:  CK120079RT
                                                  DISTRICT RENT
               P. GREGORY                         ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: BJ120824S


               On November 2, 1988 the above named petitioner-tenant filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued October 11, 1988. The order concerned housing 
          accommodations known as Apt 23 located at 31-06 38th Street, 
          Astoria, N.Y.  The Administrator denied the tenant's application 
          for a rent reduction based on decreased services.

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 

               The tenant commenced this proceeding on October 15, 1987 by 
          filing a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services wherein he 
          alleged that the owner was denying access to the cellar storage 
          space area.   The tenant further stated that other tenants were 
          permitted access to this area and that the only way to gain access 
          to the cellar is to request the building superintendent to unlock 
          the door leading to the cellar.  The tenant alleged that the 
          superintendent is never home during the daytime hours. The tenant 
          attached a copy of an answer filed by the landlord in a proceeding 
          before the New York City Office of Rent Control in 1979, wherein 
          the landlord stated that no tenants would be allowed to have keys 
          to the basement and would have to contact the owner for access.

               The complaint was served on the owner listed in the tenant's 
          complaint.  No response is contained in the record.
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          building.  The inspection was conducted on June 10, 1988. The 
          inspector stated that the cellar door was padlocked at the time of 
          inspection.  The inspector also reported that the superintendent 
          was unavailable at the time of inspection.  


               The Administrator issued the order here under review on 
          October 11, 1988 finding, after consideration of the evidence in 
          the record, that the relief requested pursuant to the Rent and 
          Eviction Regulations was not warranted.  The application was denied 
          without prejudice to the tenant's right to refile if additional 
          facts could be shown to warrant relief.

               On appeal the tenant argues that, based on the failure of the 
          inspector to gain access to the cellar, the Administrator was 
          incorrect in dismissing the application.  The tenant reasserts that 
          he is being denied access to the storage area and that the 
          superintendent is unavailable during the daytime hours.

               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted 
          and the proceeding should be remanded to the Administrator for 
          further processing.

               Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction 
          Regulations, the Administrator may order a rent reduction based on 
          a finding of a decrease in essential services.  The rent decrease 
          is to be in an amount which reflects the reduced rental value of 
          the subject apartment because of the decrease in essential 
          services.  Essential services are defined in Section 2202.2 of the 
          Rent and Eviction Regulations as those services furnished or 
          required to be furnished on April 20, 1962 or a subsequent date 
          determining the maximum rent.  

               Although the record in the instant case tends to support the 
          tenant's complaint that access to storage space was formerly 
          provided and is no longer available, for which a rent reduction 
          would be warranted, the Division's records reveal that neither the 
          complaint nor the order were served on the registered owner. Before 
          determining if a rent reduction should be ordered, the owner should 
          be served with the complaint and afforded an opportunity to 
          respond.  Another inspection or further investigation into the 
          extent and availability of access to the storage area on the base 
          date may be required.   

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent and Eviction Regulations for 
          New York City it is

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 


          granted,  that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same 
          hereby is, revoked and that this proceeding be, and the same hereby 
          is, remanded to the Administrator for further processing.


                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner


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