CA410174RT





                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433


          ----------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CA410174RT
                                                  

          GAIL WEED                               RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
                                                  NO.: BH410073S 

                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
               IN PART AND REMANDING PROCEEDING TO RENT ADMINISTRATOR

          On January 19, 1988 the above named petitioner-tenant 
          representative filed a Petition for Administrative Review against 
          an order of the Rent Administrator issued December 21, 1987 
          concerning the housing accommodations known as Apt. 7, 317 West 
          71st Street, New York, NY, wherein the Administrator directed the 
          owner to restore certain services but did not order a rent 
          reduction.
                    
          The Commissioner has carefully reviewed all the evidence of record 
          and has carefully considered that portion relevant to the issues 
          raised on appeal.

          A review of the record reveals that in August 11, 1987, the tenant 
          filed a complaint seeking a rent reduction based on the owner's 
          alleged failure to maintain certain services.

          In answer to the complaint, the owner said that she is most anxious 
          to make all necessary repairs but the tenant has been uncooperative 
          about granting access to the owner's contractors.

          A physical inspection was requested by the Rent Administrator 
          before the owner's answer to the complaint was received.  The 
          inspector visited the apartment on September 23, 1987 and 
          reported that the necessary repairs had not been completed.













          CA410174RT

          A second inspection on notice to all parties was conducted on 
          November 30, 1987.  The inspector reported that, except for a few 
          minor conditions, all repairs had been completed.

          Based on this report, the Rent Administrator issued the order 
          appealed herein directing the owner to restore services but finding 
          that a rent reduction was not warranted.  The services the owner 
          was directed to restore were the following:

                    1.  Cable exposed behind bathroom door.
                    2.  Small area of bathroom floor around toilet is 
                        defective.
                    3.  Bathroom wall has loose tiles.
                    4.  Bathroom door does not close properly.
                    5.  Bathtub is waterstained.
                    6.  Refrigerator bottom shelf is rusty.
                    7.  Main room floor boards are loose.

          In the petition for administrative review, the tenant, through 
          counsel, asserts that the order should be modified to list all the 
          defective conditions noted by the inspector in the September 23, 
          1987 report and to order the rent reduction to which the tenant is 
          entitled.

          The petition was served on the owner on March 4, 1988.  On March 
          10, 1988, the owner requested an extension of time to answer but no 
          answer was received.

          After careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted 
          in part and the proceeding remanded to the Rent Administrator.

          Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code requires the Division 
          to order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant, where it 
          is found that the owner has failed to maintain required services.  
          Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include 
          repairs and maintenance.  A rent abatement will not be ordered 
          where it is determined that the tenant has prevented the owner from 
          making repairs by denying access.

          The first inspection is without evidentiary value in this 
          proceeding because it was conducted before the owner's answer was 
          filed.

          The defective conditions noted by the inspector at the second 
          inspection and listed in the Rent Administrator's order would 
          certainly warrant a rent reduction.  However, it cannot be 
          determined from a review of the record in the instant case whether 
          the tenant denied access after the owner made appointments with the 
          tenant for repairs to be done at a scheduled date and time and 
          whether the owner was prepared to have the repairs done when DHCR 
          made arrangements for access to be obtained on November 30, 1987.






          CA410174RT

            
          On remand, the Administrator should afford the owner an opportunity 
          to establish that letters were sent to the tenant by regular and 
          certified mail scheduling access dates for repairs after the 
          complaint was filed.  If this is established, the Rent 
          Administrator should direct that an inspection be scheduled on 
          notice to all parties at which the owner should be directed to have 
          repair person(s) present and ready to attend to repairs and/or 
          restore services.

          If the owner is unable to establish a lack of access or is 
          unprepared to have the necessary work done on the scheduled date, 
          a rent reduction should be granted to the tenant, effective 
          September 1, 1987, the first of the month following service of the 
          tenant's complaint on the owner.  The rent reduction should be to 
          the level in effect prior to the last guideline adjustment which 
          occurred before September 1, 1987.

          Therefore, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
          it is

          ORDERED that this petition be and the same hereby is granted in 
          part, and the proceeding be and the same hereby is remanded to the 
          Rent Administrator for further processing in accordance with this 
          order and opinion.    


          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                                   






    

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