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.:
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 1, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition
for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on May 6, 1988,
by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommodation
known as 2315 Walton Avenue, Bronx, New York, Apt. 1-A, wherein the
Administrator determined that a reduction in rent was warranted
based upon a reduction in services.
The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
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 appeal.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of the subject apartment.
On March 17, 1988, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the
owner failed to provide heat and hot-water services.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint alleging that the
tenant's complaints were checked out by the building superintendent
and that a major rehabilitation of the building was about to begin.
A DHCR inspection conducted on April 21, 1988, found that there was
inadequate hot-water in the subject apartment.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
the boiler has undergone periodic and timely repairs when needed.
The petition was served on the tenant on August 8, 1988.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
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 a 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 heat
and hot water.
The New York City Housing Maintenance Code requires that a
temperature of at least 68 degrees be maintained whenever the
outside temperature falls below 55 degrees. The Housing
Maintenance Code also requires that hot water be supplied at all
times at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees.
The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based his
determination on the results of an impartial inspection and that
pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the Administrator was
authorized to reduce the rent upon determining that the owner had
failed to maintain services.
The Commissioner notes that the petitioner's statements at PAR
constitute an admission that the conditions that gave rise to the
rent reduction were conditions that existed prior to the DHCR
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Rent Administrator
properly determined that the owner had failed to maintain hot-water
services, and correctly reduced the rent of the subject
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted
by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this
Order and Opinion.
Upon a restoration of services, the owner may separately apply for
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA