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.: CA130263RO
JOSEPH R. MALIGIERI RENT
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
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
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