STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:              
                    WILLIAM HAUGH,
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                   PETITIONER     BK110064B 


          On May 18, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition 
          for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on April 13, 
          1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommoda- 
          tion known as 55-05 Woodside Avenue, Woodside, New York, wherein 
          the Administrator determined that the owner had failed to maintain 
          required services and ordered a reduction of the legal regulated 

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

          This proceeding was commenced by the filing by various tenants of 
          a complaint of decrease in services dated November 18, 1987.  The 
          owner was served with a copy of the tenant's complaint and, in his 
          response, denied the tenants' allegations.  

          Thereafter on February 1, 1988, an inspection of the premises was 
          conducted by a Division staff inspector and confirmed the existence 
          of some of the complained of conditions, resulting in the order 
          herein appealed.

          In the PAR, the owner claims that 3" above or below the floor is 
          proper levelling for a 30 year elevator, that the elevator doors 
          were repaired before the order was issued, that problems collecting 
          on an insurance claim prevented complete repair of the peeling 


          paint and plaster in the stairwell, that the Administrative Code 
          only requires 60 watt bulbs in the stairwells and that work on the 
          fire escapes which was contracted for in September 1987, could not 
          be completed until the Spring of 1988, due to outside temperatures 
          but, at the same time had no effect on the use of the fire escape.

          Various tenants responded to the owner's PAR requesting that it be 
          denied stating that the elevator levelling problem spans 2" - 8", 
          that the placement of the stairwell light bulbs leaves the stairs 
          in shadow, that it is no defense to blame the insurance company for 
          failure to make repairs, and that, as to the fire escapes, the 
          temperatures in September are the same as in April.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the petition should be granted in part.

          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 Owner's petition does not establish any basis for 
          modifying or revoking the Administrator's order which determined, 
          based on a physical inspection, that the owner was not maintaining 
          required services, and that a rent reduction was warranted.  As for 
          the owner's assertion that the elevator doors were repaired after 
          the date of inspection and before the Administrator's order was 
          issued, the evidence of record does not indicate, and the owner 
          does not allege, that the Division was notified that the repair had 
          been made.

          However, with regard to the issue of elevator levelling, the 
          Commissioner acknowledges that enforcement of applicable standards 
          regarding elevator operation and safety is under the jurisdiction 
          of the New York City Department of Buildings, which has long 
          established, comprehensive procedures and inspection programs in 
          place.  The staff engaged in carrying out these programs has the 
          necessary technical expertise to conduct periodic inspections; to 
          interpret and apply relevant codes, regulations and industry 
          standards and to issue violations.  Further, 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 


          The Commissioner notes that a search of the Department of Building 
          records has revealed that no violation regarding elevator operation 
          were issued while the complaint was pending before the Rent Admin- 
          istrator.  Therefore, the Commissioner finds that sufficient 
          evidence does not exist to support the Administrator's finding 
          regarding the elevator.  This finding must, therefore, be revoked.

          The owner may file a rent restoration application if the facts so 

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabiliza- 
          tion Law and Code, and the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, 
          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 modified in accordance with this Order and Opinion.


                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner          


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