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.: CE510022R0
Mann Realty Associates c/o RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
Kucker, Kraus and Bruh DOCKET NO.: BI430079B
2-4 St. Nicholas Place
New York, NY
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on April 7, 1988 concerning the housing
accommodations relating to the above-described docket number.
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 this administrative appeal.
This proceeding was commenced on September 2, 1987 by the filing of
a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain various
services in the building.
In an answer filed on December 15, 1987, the owner submitted an
affidavit from its building superintendent who denied the
allegations in the complaint and otherwise asserted that the
elevator services are well-maintained (copies of service contracts
attached); that the light in the hallway by the mailbox has been
repaired; and that the hallways, sidewalk, floors and courtyard are
safe and clean.
Thereafter, a physical inspection of the building was conducted on
February 23, 1988 by a DHCR staff member who confirmed the existence
of defective conditions.
Based on the inspection, the Administrator reduced the rent as
As to rent-controlled tenants:
1. Public hallway walls are chipped and cracked
throughout the subject premises. $3.00
2. Public hallways throughout the subject premises
require cleaning. $3.00
3. Courtyard area requires cleaning. $3.00
4. Elevator door stays open approximately one-and-
a-half inches when elevator is in motion,
and indicator lights are defective. $5.00
5. Defective building front sidewalks. $3.00
6. Defective tiles from the sixth floor
to the lobby. $1.00
As to the rent stabilized tenant who signed this complaint, the rent
was reduced by the percentage of the most recent guidelines
adjustment for the tenant's lease which commenced before December 1,
1987, the effective date of the rent reduction of the stabilized
In the petition for administrative review, the owner contends in
substance that the Administrator's order should be reversed because
(1) the petitioner did not receive any notice of inspection or the
results of inspection, and (2) the items cited were minor, isolated
occurrences arising from normal maintenance, not warranting a rent
In answer, the tenant stated that the defective conditions were not
repaired and still existed.
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 DHCR for a rent reduction and DHCR shall reduce the
rent based on a finding that the owner is failing to maintain
required services. Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and
Eviction Regulations, DHCR is authorized to order a rent reduction
approximating the reduction in rental value as a result of a
decrease in essential services.
The owner's petition fails to establish any basis to modify or
revoke the Administrator's determination based on the February 23,
1988 physical inspection which confirmed the existence of defective
conditions, warranting a rent reduction.
The Commissioner notes that the inspection results in the instant
case are not de minimis but serious defective conditions, warranting
a rent reduction.
The defense that the owner is entitled to a notice of inspection or
the inspection report in the proceeding below is without merit. The
Commissioner notes that the tenant's complaint is sufficient notice
to the owner; that the owner chose not to diligently contest the
tenant's allegations by investigating the matter and doing necessary
repairs completely and effectively; that the inspection report
merely confirmed allegations in the complaint; and that accordingly,
the owner was not denied due process. (See FH410081RO; Empress Manor
Apartments v. DHCR, 538 N.Y.S.2d 49, 147 A.D.2d 642).
With regard to the elevator defects, the Commissioner notes that
while DHCR has the requisite authority to investigate and to render
a determination bearing on a tenant's complaint of elevator defects,
DHCR recognizes that the NYC Department of Buildings 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. Normally, in view of NYC's
greater experience with elevator enforcement, NYC is in a better
position than DHCR to determine appropriate performance standards
and ancillary equipment for elevators of varying age and
manufacture. In this instance, however, the DOB records do not
indicate that elevator inspections took place for the subject
building from the date the tenant filed the complaint on September
2, 1987 through the issue date of the rent reduction order on April
7, 1988. Consequently, reliance on DHCR inspection in this case is
warranted and is sufficient to support a determination of decreased
elevator services, warranting a rent reduction.
The status of the owner's rent restoration applications is as
follows: CE530085OR denied on December 22, 1988, DL510149OR denied
on July 26, 1990, and GL430021OR granted in part to rent-controlled
tenants on March 31, 1994.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
the Rent and Eviction Regulations and Operational Bulletin 84-1, it
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby, is affirmed.
LULA M. ANDERSON