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
APPEALS OF DOCKET NOS.:
L. HIRSCHFIELD, TENANT and
A. LAWRENCE, TENANTS' REP.,
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 16, 1988 and July 12, 1988, the above-named petitioner-
tenants filed petitions for administrative review (PAR) of orders
issued on June 8, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the
housing accommodations known as 279 East 44th Street, various
apartments, New York, N.Y., wherein the Administrator denied the
tenants' application based either on the failure of the tenant of
a subject apartment to provide access for purpose of a physical
inspection scheduled on May 9, 1988 and May 13, 1988, or, if access
was provided, the inspector's finding that services were being
The Commissioner has consolidated these two petitions for
determination herein as they involve common questions of law and
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 administrative appeals.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly denied
the tenants' application for a decrease in rent.
The tenants filed a complaint alleging that the owner failed to
maintain heat and hot-water services.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint on December 9, 1987,
alleging, in pertinent part, that all heating and hot-water
requirements prescribed by the Housing and Maintenance Code have
been complied with and that any problems which might have existed
with the hot water supply very early in the morning were remedied
with the installation of a new hot-water circulating pump.
DHCR inspections conducted on January 13, 1988 and May 13, 1988,
revealed that heat and hot-water service was adequate in numerous
apartments in the building. On the report of the January 13, 1988
inspection, the inspector noted that 9 apartments, at least one
apartment in each line, were inspected and on the report of the
May, 1988 inspections, the inspector listed 26 apartments which
were inspected. (Approximately 125 tenants signed the complaint.)
On appeal, the petitioner-tenant (Hirschfield) asserted, in
pertinent part, that the DHCR failed to notify him of any
inspection and the tenants' representative (Lawrence) contended
that the DHCR inspector erred because the inspection occurred when
peak water demand had passed and that not all apartments were
The petitions were served on the owner on August 10, 1988 and on
August 24, 1988, the owner replied that at the time of the
inspection all heat and/or hot-water services were being provided.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeals
should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) 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
repairs 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 Rent
The Housing and Maintenance Code provides:
S D26-10.07 Owner's right of access---No tenant shall
refuse to permit the owner or his agent or employee, to
enter his dwelling unit or other space under his control
to make repairs or improvements required by this code or
other law or to inspect such apartment or other space to
determine compliance with this code or any other provi-
sion of law, if the right of entry is exercised at a
reasonable time and in reasonable manner. The department
may by regulation restrict the time and manner of such
The Housing Maintenance Code also requires that a temperature of at
least 68 degrees be maintained whenever the outside temperature
falls below 55 degrees and that hot water be supplied at all times
at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees.
With regard to the petition filed under Docket No. CF410024RT by
the tenant of Apartment PH-C (Hirschfield), the record shows that
on January 13, 1988, the inspector was provided access to said
apartment. The inspector reported that the outside temperature was
23@F; that the inside temperature was 72@F and that the hot water
temperature was 120@F. This inspection revealed that heat and hot
water services were being adequately provided.
Despite the proper service of a subsequent notice of inspection,
access was not provided by the tenant of Apartment PH-C in May
With regard to the petition filed under Docket No. CG410183RT by
the tenants' representative, the Commissioner finds that there is
no requirement on the DHCR inspector to inspect every apartment
when a building-wide complaint is filed.
The file shows that a significant number of apartments were
inspected on January 13, 1988 and in May, 1988 and that the results
of those inspections confirmed that the owner was adequately
providing heat and hot-water services.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly
relied on the inspector's reports in determining the tenants'
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code and the Rent and Eviction Regulations,
ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, denied
and the Administrator's orders be, and the same hereby are,
LULA M. ANDERSON