CB130246RO                                 
                                  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.:              
CB130246RO
                 REY CAL REALTY CORP.,           
                   c/o RAMON REYES,               RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                   PETITIONER     BJ130016HW
          ----------------------------------x



            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


          On February 25, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on 
          January 20, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning housing 
          accommodations known as 88-06 Parsons Boulevard, Jamaica, New York, 
          Various Apartments, wherein the Administrator determined that a 
          reduction in rent was warranted based upon a reduction in heat and 
          hot-water services.  The rent for rent-controlled apartments was 
          reduced by 7% per month, effective on the first rent payment day 
          following the issuance date of the order and the rent for rent- 
          stabilized apartments was reduced by the most recent guidelines 
          adjustment.

          The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and 
          has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the 
          issues raised by the administrative appeal.

          The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced 
          the rents of the subject apartments.

          On October 7, 1987, tenants of 53 of the 60 apartments in the 
          subject building joined in filing a complaint alleging that the 
          owner filed to maintain certain building-wide services.

          One aspect of the complaint, alleging inconsistent and insufficient 
          heat, was processed separately in accordance with Division policy.














          CB130246RO                                 



          The owner filed an answer to the complaint on December 3, 1987, 
          alleging in pertinent part, that the boiler and burner equipment 
          are in proper working order and heat is supplied as required by 
          law.

          A Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) inspection 
          revealed that the owner failed to maintain heat and hot-water 
          services in the apartments inspected on December 10, 1987 and 
          December 11, 1987.  The inspector was able to gain access to 40 
          apartments and although some had adequate heat, every apartment had 
          either inadequate hot water or no water at all.

          On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that 
          heat and hot-water services were actually corrected prior to the 
          issuance of the Rent Administrator's order; that the Rent Admin- 
          istrator erred by issuing a determination without having conducted 
          a hearing and that the appealed order is arbitrary and capricious 
          because the inspector failed to inspect all 52 apartments affected 
          by the order.

          The petition was served on the tenants on April 28, 1988.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the petition should be denied.              

          Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, a tenant 
          may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) 
          for 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.

          Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations provides that 
          an owner's failure to maintain services may result in an order of 
          decrease in maximum rent, in an amount determined by the discretion 
          of the Rent Administrator.

          Housing Maintenance Code regulations relating to supply of heat and 
          hot-water provide as follows:

               Section 27-2028 Minimum temperature to be maintained:

                 a. During the period from October 1 through May 
                    31, centrally-supplied heat, in any dwelling 
                    in which such heat is required to be provided,








          CB130246RO                                 

                    shall be furnished so as to maintain, in every 
                    portion of such dwelling used or occupied for 
                    living purposes:

                       1.     Between the hours of 6:00 
                              a.m. and 10:00 p.m., a 
                              temperature of at least 
                              68 degrees Fahrenheit 
                              whenever the outside tem- 
                              perature falls below 55 
                              degrees; and 

                         2.   Between the hours of 
                              10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., 
                              a temperature of at least 
                              55 degrees Fahrenheit 
                              whenever the outside tem- 
                              perature falls below 40 
                              degrees.


               Section 27-2031 Supply of hot water when required:

                    Except as otherwise provided in this article, 
                    every bath, shower, washbasin and sink in any 
                    dwelling unit in a multiple dwelling . . . . . 
                    . . . . .  shall be supplied at all time (bet- 
                    ween the hours of six a.m and midnight) with 
                    hot water at a constant minimum temperature of 
                    120 degrees Fahrenheit from a central source 
                    constructed in accordance with provisions of 
                    the building code and the regulations of the 
                    department.


          A review of the file shows clearly that the owner failed to provide 
          heat and hot-water services to a preponderance of those apartments 
          inspected on December 10, 1987 and December 11, 1987.  The results 
          of the inspection confirm the tenants' complaint that the owner 
          failed to meet the standard set forth in Sections 27-2028 and 27- 
          2031 of the Housing and Maintenance Code.

          The owner did not submit any evidence that the heat and hot-water
          deficiencies noted on the inspector's report were completed in a 
          workmanlike manner at the time of the DHCR's inspection or at any 
          time prior to the issuance of the Administrator's order.



          Additionally, error was not committed by the Rent Administrator, by 
          its failure to conduct a hearing because the scheduling of hearings 
          is a matter for the sole discretion of the Administrator.












          CB130246RO                                 


          The Commissioner has also considered and rejects the petitioner's 
          argument that the appealed order is arbitrary and capricious 
          because the inspector failed to inspect all 52 apartments affected 
          by the appealed order.

          A review of the file shows that 53 of the 60 apartments in the 
          building joined in filing the instant complaint and that the in- 
          spector gained access to 40 of those apartments.  The lack of 
          adequate hot water in every apartment inspected adequately supports 
          a determination that there was a systemic defect affecting service 
          on a building-wide basis.

          The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based his 
          determination on the entire record, including the results of the 
          on-site physical inspections conducted on December 10, 1987 and 
          December 11, 1987, and that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the 
          Code, and Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations, the 
          Administrator was mandated to reduce the rents upon determining 
          that the owner had failed to maintain services.

          Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the owner has offered 
          insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's determina- 
          tion.

          The Division's records reveal that the owner's rent restoration 
          application was granted on October 19, 1988 (Docket No. 
          CC130137OR).

          As regards the rent stabilized apartments, 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.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabili- 
          zation Law and Code, and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for 
          New York City, it is

          ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          denied, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same 
          hereby, is affirmed.


          ISSUED:
                                                                           
                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner          
                           
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     






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