CL110167RO

                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433


          ----------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CL110167RO
                                                  
          RICHARD ALBERT                          RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: BL110745S
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                          
               On December 15, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued November 17, 1988. The order concerned housing 
          accommodations known as Apt. 3R located at 93-47 222nd Street, 
          Queens Village, N.Y.  The Administrator directed restoration of 
          services and ordered a rent reduction for failure to maintain 
          required services.  

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

               The tenant commenced this proceeding on April 19, 1988 by 
          filing nine separate Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services 
          wherein  she alleged that the owner was not maintaining certain 
          required services including uneven and sagging floors, kitchen 
          cabinet doors not closing properly, detached freezer door, water 
          damaged windows and frames, roach infestation and peeling paint and 
          plaster.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on June 10, 
          1988 and stated, in sum, that all required services are being 
          maintained and that no rent reduction was justified.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          apartment.  The inspection was conducted on September 29, 1988 and 
          revealed the following:

                    1.   Defective hallway and second bedroom floor,

                    2.   Defective kitchen cabinet door does not remain 












          CL110167RO

                    closed when shut,


                    3.   Freezer door is off hinge,

                    4.   Rotted and water stained living room window frame,

                    5.   Water stained windows throughout,

                    6.   Vermin infestation,

                    7.   Hallway ceiling is peeling paint,

                    8.   Master bedroom wall is cracked and the ceiling is 
                         peeling paint,

                    9.   Second bedroom ceiling is cracked, peeling paint 
                         and may be in hazardous condition.

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on 
          November 17, 1988 and ordered a rent reduction based on the 
          inspector's report.

               On appeal the owner states, in sum, that the tenant has been 
          uncooperative in allowing access to the apartment, that 
          extermination services are provided on a monthly basis, that at a 
          hearing held in connection with another proceeding the agency 
          determined that there is in fact monthly extermination services, 
          that the finding in this proceeding regarding infestation is 
          inconsistent with said determination, that a professional 
          exterminator retained by the owner as well as the building 
          superintendent found no evidence of infestation in the subject 
          apartment, that the tenant caused the problem with the freezer door 
          and the peeling paint and plaster, that the conditions regarding 
          the freezer door and peeling paint and plaster are too minor to 
          warrant a rent reduction and that the tenant is engaged in a course 
          of conduct to harass the owner.  The petition was served on the 
          tenant on January 30, 1989.

               The tenant filed a response on February 10, 1989 and stated, 
          in sum, that the owner's petition was unsubstantiated, that the 
          order here under review was correctly issued 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.

               Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code a 
          tenant may apply to the DHCR for a rent reduction based on the 
          owner's alleged failure to maintain services and the Administrator 
          shall reduce the rent upon finding that said services have, in 
          fact, been reduced.  The definition of required services includes 






          CL110167RO

          repairs and maintenance.  The Commissioner finds that the 
          Administrator based this determination on the entire record 
          including the results of the on-site physical inspection described 
          above.

               The Commissioner is aware that many proceedings have been 
          filed by the tenants of this building and that there have been 
          court proceedings between the owner and tenants with regard to the 
          issue of maintenance of services.  However, the owner has failed to 
          rebut the inspector's report.  With regard to the owner's argument 
          regarding extermination services, the fact that this agency, in 
          another proceeding, found that extermination is provided on a 
          monthly basis does not contradict the report of the inspector.  The 
          Commissioner notes that extermination, if performed, has been 
          ineffective and such was evident at the time of inspection. 

               With regard to the owner's claim that the tenant was 
          uncooperative in allowing access to the apartment, the Commissioner 
          notes that the scope of review in an administrative appeal is 
          limited to facts  or evidence presented to the Administrator unless 
          it can be shown that such facts or evidence could not be presented.  
          Since the owner did not raise the access issue before the 
          Administrator the Commissioner will not consider this argument on 
          appeal. The owner's other contentions are unsubstantiated or 
          without merit.  The order here under review is affirmed.

               The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement which 
          resulted from the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance 
          of this order and opinion.  

               The Commissioner notes that the owner's application for rent 
          restoration (Docket No. HD110182OR) is pending before the DHCR).


               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code 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.

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                                   






    

TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name