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.: CA410174RT
GAIL WEED RENT
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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,
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.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA