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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CG110088RO
          RICHARD ALBERT                          RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
                                                  NO.: BL130069B

          On July 11, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a Petition 
          for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued June 13, 1988 concerning the housing 
          accommodations known as Apt. 5H, 94-05 222nd Street, Queens 
          Village, NY, wherein the Administrator determined that the owner 
          was not maintaining required services, directed restoration of such  
          services, and ordered a rent reduction.                            

          The Commissioner has carefully reviewed all the evidence of record 
          and has carefully considered that portion relevant to the issues 
          raised on appeal.

          A review of the record reveals that the tenant filed a complaint on 
          December 24, 1987 alleging a decrease in building-wide services.  
          Specifically, the tenant stated that the walkway behind the 
          building on the south side is in poor condition, the grounds behind 
          the building on the south side and in the southeast corner of the 
          premises are littered with leaves and refuse, the fence behind the 
          building in the southeast corder of the premises is damaged and 
          sagging, and the exterior yard light on the rear of the building in 
          the southeast corner of the premises is damaged and separating from 
          the wall.  

          The complaint was served on the owner on January 19, 1988.  In 
          response, the owner stated that the complaints regarding the 
          walkway and grounds were duplicated in prior proceedings wherein it 
          was determined that all services were being provided, that a small 
          section of the fence was hit by a truck but the fence is still 
          serving its purpose and it is in an area where tenants are not 
          permitted anyway, and the yard light is functioning properly but a 
          small section of the conduit has separated from the wall.

          A physical inspection of the premises by DHCR on February 24, 1988 


          revealed that the south concrete rear path is cracked and poses 
          trip hazards, there was no evidence of garbage accumulation, there 
          was no evidence of rear fence defects, and the light fixture was 
          not separated from the wall.

          The Rent Administrator's order appealed herein states that the 
          status of the tenant's apartment is unknown and reduces the rent by 
          either $5.00 if the apartment is rent-controlled and to the level 
          in effect prior to the last rent guideline increase if the 
          apartment is rent stabilized, citing "The south side walkway is 
          cracked" as a condition warranting a rent reduction.

          In the petition for administrative review, the owner asserts that 
          a prior rent reduction had been issued to this tenant for the 
          cracked sidewalk and on April 9, 1987 the owner received a letter 
          from the DHCR Compliance Unit finding the owner in compliance with 
          this order.  The owner argues that any subsequent damage to the 
          sidewalk was caused by freezing weather  which could not be 
          repaired until warmer weather arrived.  The owner claims that all 
          necessary repairs were completed before the order was issued.  The 
          owner also contends that a cracked sidewalk is a minor condition 
          not warranting a rent reduction, that federal law requires a 
          hearing before a penalty is imposed, that the complaint was 
          prepared by a tenant representative in violation of a court 
          stipulation, and that the tenant herein is cooperating with the 
          tenant representative by signing multiple complaints.

          In answer to the petition, the tenant contends that the rent 
          reduction was properly based on a physical inspection and should be 

          After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

          Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code and Section 2202.16 
          of the Rent and Eviction Regulations authorize a rent reduction 
          based on a finding that the owner is not maintaining required or 
          essential services.  The order appealed herein was properly based 
          on a physical inspection confirming the existence of a defective 
          condition for which a rent reduction is warranted.  The owner's 
          petition does not establish any basis for modifying or revoking the 
          order.  A prior rent reduction order and a finding of compliance 
          with that order does not preclude a subsequent order for the same 
          condition if the condition is one requiring ongoing maintenance 
          which a later inspection finds is defective.  The owner did not 
          submit any evidence to establish that the repairs were completed 
          before the order was issued.

          In the instant case, the inspector reported that the cracks in the 
          sidewalk posed a trip hazard which refutes the owner's contention 
          that only a minor condition existed that did not warrant a rent 


          The owner's other arguments are also without merit.  There is no 
          requirement in federal law that a hearing must take place before a 
          rent reduction may be ordered.  The owner has also not established 
          that the complaint was prepared by the tenant or a tenant 
          representative in violation of a court stipulation.

          The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that may have  
          resulted by the filing of the petition if the tenant is rent       
          stabilized is vacated upon issuance of this order and opinion.     
          The Division's records reveal that the owner's rent restoration 
          applications were denied.  The owner is advised to file another 
          application if the necessary repairs have been done.

          Therefore in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code 
          and the Rent and Evictions for New York City, it is 

          ORDERED that this petition be and the same hereby is denied and the 
          Rent Administrator's order be and the same hereby is affirmed.



                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner


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