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.: CL410010RO
NEW HEIGHTS 66-72 ASSOCIATES RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
DOCKET NO.: BJ510712S
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named petitioner-owner filed a timely petition for
administrative review of an order issued concerning the housing
accommodations known as 66-72 Fort Washington Avenue, Apt. #56, New
York, New York.
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the petition.
The tenant commenced the proceeding below by filing a complaint, on
October 22, 1987, asserting that the owner had failed to maintain
certain services in the subject apartment.
In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in the
complaint or otherwise asserted that all required repairs had been
or will be completed.
Thereafter an inspection of the subject apartment was conducted by
a DHCR inspector on September 12, 1988, who confirmed the existence
of the following defective condition:
The apartment entrance door lock is defective and needs to be
The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services and
further ordered a reduction of the stabilization rent.
In its petition for administrative review, the owner states, in
substance, that the order is arbitrary and capricious and that the
service reduction found was not sufficient to warrant a reduction
in rent, that a new lock was installed in the apartment prior to
the issuance of the Administrator's order, and the inspection was
done without affording the owner either notice of the inspection,
an opportunity to make the required repairs, or an opportunity to
reply to the inspection report.
The DHCR served a copy of the petition on the tenant on December
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is
required to order a rent reduction, upon application by the tenant,
where it is found that the owner has failed to maintain required
services. The owner's petition does not establish any basis for
modifying or revoking the Administrator's order which determined
that the owner was not maintaining required services based on a
physical inspection confirming the existence of defective
conditions in the subject apartment for which a rent reduction is
The scope of review in administrative appeals is limited to a
review of facts or evidence that were before the Administrator.
No evidence was brought before the Administrator to prove that the
door lock was repaired before the order was issued. The owner had
the opportunity to make the required repairs upon receipt of the
tenant's complaint, which was mailed to the owner on December 3,
1987. There is no requirement that the Division notify an owner,
who has been served with a complaint, with the results of a
physical inspection. Empress Manor Apts. v. DHCR, 547 N.Y.S.2d.
49, 2nd Dept. 1989. Moreover, a defective lock is a condition that
compromises the security of the apartment and is not de minimis in
nature. It is a service required to be provided by applicable law.
The Division's records reveal that a rent restoration order was
granted on April 17, 1989 (Docket No.: DA510053OR).
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted
by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this
order and opinion.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law & Code and
the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, 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,
JOSEPH D. A'GOSTA