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.:
2860 DECATUR CORP. RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
c/o JOHN T. SATRIALE, DOCKET NO.:
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On December 16, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
November 17, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the
housing accommodation known as 2860 Decatur Avenue, Bronx,
New York, Apartment 24-A, wherein the Administrator determined that
a reduction in rent was warranted based upon a reduction in ser-
The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered the portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the administrative appeal.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of apartment 24-A.
On January 11, 1988, the tenant filed a complaint alleging, in per-
tinent part, that the ceilings throughout the apartment were in a
state of disrepair, that the water pressure is inadequate and that
the entrance door is defective.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint alleging that it main-
tains all services and when necessary all repairs are made without
delay. It further alleged that all repairs have been made.
A Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) inspection con-
ducted on October 5, 1988, revealed that the owner failed to
maintain the following services:
1. The kitchen ceiling, hallway, living room and
bedroom are cracked and peeling paint and
plaster - in need of plastering and painting.
2. The two bottom living room windows, the
kitchen window and bedroom window do not stay
open - keep sliding down.
3. The apartment entrance door frame by the lock
strike plate - wood is very rotten. There is
no security to the apartment.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
the list of repairs and services stated in the complaint were
ambiguous; that it was denied notice of the specific complaints and
that it made a good faith effort to make all repairs.
The petition was served on the tenant on February 1, 1989, but the
tenant failed to file an answer to the petition.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) for a reduction of the legal regulated rent to the level in
effect prior to the most recent guidelines adjustment, and the DHCR
shall so reduce the rent for the period for which it is found that
the owner has failed to maintain required services.
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include re-
pairs and maintenance.
The Commissioner has considered and rejects the petitioner's claim
that the complaint as written is ambiguous to the point where it is
depriving petitioner of its right of due process.
A review of the complaint shows clearly that all those service
items specified in the appealed order were delineated with suffi-
cient particularity in the complaint. It is apparent that the
petitioner had adequate notice from the tenant's complaint of
conditions requiring its attention.
The Commissioner has also considered and rejects the petitioner's
claim on appeal that the required repairs were made prior to the
issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
A copy of the tenant's complaint was mailed to the owner on
February 23, 1988, and the Rent Administrator's order was issued on
November 17, 1988.
It is apparent that the owner had approximately nine (9) months to
attend to the complained-of conditions, but had failed to do so
prior to the issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
The inspector's report clearly showed that even if the owner
attempted to correct the conditions prior to the issuance of the
Rent Administrator's order, it had failed to do so in a workmanlike
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's determi-
The Commissioner finds, that the Administrator properly based his
determination on the entire record, including the results of the
on-site physical inspection conducted on October 5, 1988, and that
pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the Administrator was
mandated to reduce the rent upon determining that the owner had
failed to maintain services.
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.
Upon restoration of services the owner may separately apply for a
rent restoration and the rent reduction remains in effect until an
application for rent restoration is filed and granted.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabili-
zation Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied,
and the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA