CF410024RT, CG410183RT
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433

          APPEALS OF                                   DOCKET NOS.:
                                                       CF410024RT, CG410183RT
               L. HIRSCHFIELD, TENANT and
               A. LAWRENCE, TENANTS' REP.,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.:


          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 
          adequately provided.

          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 

          CF410024RT, CG410183RT

          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 

          CF410024RT, CG410183RT

               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, 
          it is

          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
                                             Deputy Commissioner


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