n STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: CD410031RT
Jo Ann Neuhoff Douglas,
DOCKET NO.: BF410477S
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named petitioner-tenant filed a timely petition for
administrative review of an order issued concerning the housing
accommodation known as 170 Second Avenue, Apt. 7E, New York,
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the petition.
The tenant commenced the proceeding below by filing a complaint on
May 28, 1987 asserting that the owner had failed to maintain the
windows in the subject apartment which are difficult to open from
In an answer, the owner, represented by counsel, denied the
allegations set forth in the complaint or otherwise asserted that
all required repairs had been or will be completed and that the top
windows can be opened from the inside of each apartment and do not
necessitate leaning outside of the apartment for opening.
Thereafter an inspection of the subject apartment was conducted by
a DHCR inspector on February 5, 1988 who reported that:
1. One (1) bedroom window is missing a lock.
2. Windows are difficult to open and close. These windows do not
have a grip or a handle to operate.
The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services to
the required level by correcting the defective conditions.
However, it was determined that based on the evidence, a rent
reduction was not warranted.
In its petition for administrative review, the tenant states, in
substance, that the windows cannot be opened from the bottom and
locked in a secure position and since safety guards cannot be
placed on this window, it must remain closed because a small child
resides there. The tenant further states that other tenants in her
building had similar complaints and received a rent reduction.
The DHCR served a copy of the petition on the owner on May 17,
1988. The owner answers that although the tenant complains that
the basic design of the window makes it subjectively difficult for
some individuals to operate, the evidence of record establishes
that the windows are not defective and a rent reduction is not
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, DHCR is
required to order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant,
where it is found that an owner has failed to maintain required
services. The tenant's petition does not establish any basis for
modifying or revoking the Administrator's order which determined
that the owner should restore services to the required level by
correcting the defective condition. Based on this evidence, a rent
reduction is not warranted.
The Commission has considered the tenant's claim that the
Administrator erred by denying her request for a reduction in rent.
Though there exists similar complaints emerging from other tenants
who were given rent reductions, the actual physical condition of
the items complained of in each apartment can vary. The physical
conditions in the subject apartment did not warrant a rent
The owner was directed to correct the deficiencies noted by the
inspector and if this has not been done, the tenant is advised to
commence a non-compliance proceeding with the Division.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code
and the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, 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,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA