CB230285RO
                                  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.: CB230285RO 
                                                  
          7040 COLONIAL ROAD ASSOCIATES           RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: BD230098B
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x

            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                  IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

               On February 25, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued on January 21, 1988. The order concerned the 
          housing accommodations located at 7040 Colonial Road, Brooklyn, 
          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 
          appeal.

               This proceeding was commenced on March 31, 1987 when 22 
          tenants in this 59 unit building joined in filing a Statement of 
          Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide Services wherein they 
          alleged, in sum, that the owner was not maintaining certain 
          required building-wide services.  The Commissioner notes that the 
          tenants filed another building-wide services complaint which was 
          assigned Docket No. BD230023B and consolidated with this 
          proceeding.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on July 2, 
          1987 and stated, in sum, that required services are being 
          maintained or that the necessary repairs had been made.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          building.  The inspection was conducted on August 14, 1987 and 
          revealed the following:

                    1.   Defective left elevator;

                    2.   Ground floor public hallway in need of cleaning;












          CB230285RO

                    3.   Accumulation of debris in rear courtyard; and

                    4.   Defective front sidewalk.

               The Administrator issued the order being appealed on
          January 21, 1988.  Rent controlled tenants were granted a rent 
          reduction of $6.00 per month plus a specified percentage of the 
          maximum legal rent.  Rent stabilized tenants who joined in filing 
          the complaint were granted a rent reduction of an amount equal to 
          the percentage of the most recent guidelines adjustment for leases 
          commencing prior to June 1, 1987.

               On appeal the owner states, in relevant part, that the rent 
          controlled tenants did not join in filing the complaint and should 
          not receive the benefit of the rent reduction, that the elevator in 
          question was being maintained, and that the general renovation the 
          building was undergoing temporarily caused the public hallways to 
          be in need of cleaning and debris to accumulate.  The petition was 
          served on the tenants on October 6, 1988.

               Various tenants filed responses and stated, in sum, that the 
          Administrator's order was correctly issued and should be affirmed.
           
               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted 
          in part and the order here under review should be affirmed as 
          modified herein.

               With regard to rent stabilized tenants, the Commissioner notes 
          that tenants may apply to the DHCR for rent reduction based on the 
          owner's failure to maintain required services.  The Rent 
          Stabilization Code defines required services to be those services 
          the owner was required to maintain on the applicable base date 
          including repairs and maintenance.

               The Commissioner finds that, with regard to the findings 
          regarding janitorial service and the sidewalk, the Administrator 
          based this determination on the entire record including the results 
          of the above described physical inspection.  With regard to the 
          owner's assertions that it was renovating the building at the time 
          of the inspection, the Commissioner notes that building renovation 
          does not absolve the owner of the necessity to maintain services.

               With regard to the elevator issue, the Commissioner notes that 
          while the DHCR has the requisite authority to investigate and to 
          render a determination bearing on a tenant's complaint of elevator 
          defects, the DHCR recognizes that the New York City Department of 
          Buildings (DOB) has long-established, comprehensive procedures and 
          inspection programs in place.  Their staff is engaged carrying out 
          these programs, and has the necessary technical expertise to 
          conduct periodic inspections; to interpret and apply relevant 
          codes, regulations and industry standards; and to issue violations.  






          CB230285RO

          Normally, in view of the City's greater experience with elevator 
          enforcement, the City is in a better position than the DHCR to 
          determine appropriate performance standards and ancillary equipment 
          for elevators of varying age and manufacture.  However, in this 
          instance, the DOB records reveal that no elevator inspections took 
          place for the subject building from the date the tenant filed the 
          complaint on March 31, 1987 through the issue date of the rent 
          reduction order, January 22, 1988. Consequently, reliance on the 
          DHCR inspection is warranted, and is sufficient to support a 
          determination of decreased elevator services warranting a rent 
          reduction.

               Pursuant to the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York 
          City, if at least one rent controlled tenant joins in a building- 
          wide complaint, all rent controlled building tenants are entitled 
          to any rent reduction granted by the Administrator.  The owner 
          argues, however,  that a rent reduction was granted for rent 
          controlled tenants, none of whom joined in filing the complaint. A 
          review of the record confirms the owner's contention that no rent 
          controlled tenant signed the original complaint.   The order being 
          appealed is therefore revoked for rent controlled tenants. 

               In summation, the order being appealed is affirmed with regard 
          to rent stabilized tenants and the automatic stay of the 
          retroactive rent abatement which resulted from the filing of this 
          petition is vacated upon issuance of this order and opinion.  The 
          order being appealed is revoked with regard to rent controlled 
          tenants.  The owner may file for rent restoration when services 
          have been fully restored.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and 
          Rent and Eviction Regulations, it is 

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted in part, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and 
          the same hereby is, affirmed as modified herein.  Rent controlled 
          tenants who owe arrears based on the Commissioner's decision herein 
          may pay off the arrears in installments not to exceed the 
          difference per month between the rent established by the order and 
          the prior rent.

          ISSUED:

                                                                             
                                             LULA M. ANDERSON  
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                                   






    

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