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

          APPEAL OF                                  DOCKET NO.: CL410010RO 
                                                     DOCKET NO.: BJ510712S



          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 
          29, 1988.

          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
                                                      Deputy Commissioner


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