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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CA130263RO
          JOSEPH R. MALIGIERI                     RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: BC130127B

               On January 15, 1988 the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued on December 18, 1987. The order concerned the 
          housing accommodations located at 115-25 Metropolitan Avenue, Kew 
          Gardens, N.Y., various apartments.  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 

               This proceeding was commenced on March 30, 1987 when one rent 
          controlled tenant filed a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in 
          Building-Wide Services wherein he alleged, in relevant part, that 
          the public areas contained debris and were in need of cleaning and 
          that the lobby furniture had been removed.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on April 23, 
          1987 and stated, in relevant part, that the tenant had filed a 
          complaint (Docket No. BB120498S) containing the same allegations as 
          those contained in the instant complaint. The owner stated that a 
          response to the complaint in Docket No. BB120498S had been filed 
          wherein the owner responded to the substance of the tenant's 
          allegations and that the complaint in this proceeding should be 
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          building.  The inspection was conducted on August 18, 1987 and 
          revealed the following:

                    1.   Inadequate janitorial service in that public area 


          floors require cleaning and there is an 
                         accumulation of debris underneath the main floor 
                         stairway, and

                    2.   Lobby furniture has been removed.

               The Administrator issued the order being appealed on December 
          18, 1987 and granted the complaining tenant a rent reduction of 
          $4.00 per month.  The order was subsequently amended to include all 
          other rent controlled tenants.

               On appeal the owner states that the debris accumulation 
          problem is too minor to warrant a rent reduction and was corrected 
          by the superintendent.  The owner also states that lobby furniture 
          is not required to be maintained.  The petition was served on the 
          tenant on February 29, 1988.

               The tenant filed a response on March 21, 1988 wherein he 
          stated, in sum, that the owner had not restored services and that 
          the order being appealed should be affirmed.
               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

               With regard to the issue of janitorial service, 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 owner has not rebutted the 
          inspector's report by arguing that the condition is minor or that 
          it was corrected by the building superintendent after the issuance 
          of the order being appealed.

               With regard to the issue of the lobby furniture the 
          Commissioner notes that rent controlled tenants may apply to the 
          DHCR for a rent reduction based on the owner's failure to maintain 
          services and the Administrator is empowered to reduce the rent upon 
          finding that such services have been reduced.  The owner is 
          required to maintain all services which were provided on the base 
          date.  For rent controlled tenants, the applicable base date is 
          April 30, 1962.

               The owner argues that, in Docket No. BB120498S, it responded 
          to the tenant's complaint regarding lobby furniture.  However, the 
          owner's response merely stated that a furnished lobby was not a 
          service provided to apartments and that the lobby had been empty 
          for years due to vandalism problems.  Docket No. BB120498S was 
          determined based on a finding relating only to individual apartment 
          services.  No finding was made in said proceeding as to building- 
          wide services including lobby furniture.

               The Commissioner deems the owner's statement in Docket No. 
          BB120498S to be an admission by the owner that the lobby had 


          furniture which was later removed.  Vandalism is not a defense to 
          an allegation of failure to maintain required or essential 
          services. The order being appealed was correctly issued and is 

               The Commissioner notes that the owner's rent restoration 
          application (Docket No. HC120079OR) has been granted to the extent 
          of restoring the rents by $3.00 per month based on the restoration 
          of janitorial services.
               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent and Eviction Regulations for 
          New York City 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.


                                             LULA M. ANDERSON  
                                             Deputy Commissioner


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