CG130063RO

                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433


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          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CG130063RO
                                                  
          BKL MANAGEMENT CORP.                    RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: BJ130065B
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                  IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

               On July 22, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued June 17, 1988. The order concerned various 
          housing accommodations located at 41-15 45th Street, Sunnyside, 
          N.Y.  The Administrator directed restoration of services and 
          ordered a reduction of the legal rents.

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 
          appeal.

               This proceeding was commenced on October 22, 1987 when 47 of 
          the 96 tenants filed a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in 
          Building-Wide Services and alleged, in sum, that the owner was not 
          maintaining certain required services including elevators not in 
          good working order due to improper leveling and defective public 
          area windows.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner, as represented by counsel,  
          filed a response on and stated, among other things, that the 
          elevator and public area windows were in good working order.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          building.  The inspection was conducted on February 12, 1988 and 
          revealed the following:

                    1.   The two elevators do not stop level at each floor 
                         and the indicator lights are inoperative/defective.  
                         The elevators do not always stop at the floors 
                         pressed either from the station or the inside of 












          CG130063RO

                    the elevator,

                    2.   Twenty-one (21) public area windows cracked.  
                         Windows require caulking and painting.

               On April 19, 1988 the Administrator sent the owner a notice 
          wherein it was informed of the results of the  inspection and 
          afforded an opportunity to respond.  On May 10, 1988 the owner 
          notified the Administrator that the elevator had been repaired and 
          that it had accepted a proposal to replace the windows.

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on June 
          17, 1988.  A $25.00 per month rent reduction was ordered for rent 
          controlled tenants.  Rent stabilized tenants were granted a rent 
          reduction of an amount equal to one guideline increase.  The 
          Commissioner notes that an amended order was issued by the 
          Administrator on March 30, 1989 wherein certain tenants who were 
          inadvertently omitted from the June, 17, 1988 order were included 
          and the status of two tenants were corrected to reflect their rent 
          stabilized status.  The June 17, 1988 order was unchanged in all 
          other respects.

               On appeal the owner states that it quickly repaired the 
          elevator and contracted for repair of the windows after notice of 
          the inspector's report, that it notified the Administrator of this 
          effort in the May 10, 1988 response described above, that rent 
          reduction of $12.00 per month ordered for the defective elevators 
          should have been apportioned according to the floor on which the 
          affected tenant resides, and that the $13.00 rent reduction ordered 
          for the defective windows is excessive.  The petition was served on 
          the tenants on October 3, 1988. 

               The tenants filed a response on October 10, 1988 and stated 
          that the conditions cited in the Administrator's order still exist 
          and that, therefore, the order should be affirmed.
           
               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be affirmed 
          as modified herein.

               The Commissioner finds that the Administrator correctly 
          ordered the rent reduction for the condition existing with regard 
          to the public area windows.  The owner's May 10, 1988 letter to the 
          Administrator and it's assertions in this administrative appeal 
          proceeding are identical, in that it admitted it was not 
          maintaining this service but stated that it had accepted a proposal 
          for the repair of the windows.  The acceptance of a contractor's 
          proposal is not a proper substitute for the maintenance of a 
          required or essential service.  The fact that 21 windows were found 
          to be in need of repair amply justified the Administrator's 
          ordering of a $12.00 rent reduction for rent controlled tenants.  
          The Administrator based this determination on the record including 






          CG130063RO

          the results of the on-site physical inspection described above.

               With regard to the elevators, the Commissioner acknowledges 
          that enforcement of applicable standards regrading elevator 
          operation and safety is under the jurisdiction of the New York City 
          Department of Buildings, which has long established, comprehensive 
          procedures and inspection programs in place.  The staff engaged in 
          carrying out these programs has the necessary technical expertise 
          to conduct periodic inspections;  to interpret and apply relevant 
          codes, regulations and industry standards and to issue violations.  
          Further, in view of the City's greater experience with elevator 
          enforcement, the City is in a better position than the DHCR to 
          determine appropriate performance standards and ancillary equipment 
          for elevators of varying age and manufacture.

               The Commissioner notes that a search of the Department of 
          Building records has revealed that no violations regarding elevator 
          operation were issued while the complaint was pending before the 
          Administrator.  Therefore, the Commissioner finds that sufficient 
          evidence does not exist to support the Administrator's finding 
          regarding the elevators.  This finding must, therefore, be revoked.

               By reason of the foregoing, the order here under review is 
          modified to delete the finding regarding elevator operation.  The 
          rent reduction ordered for rent stabilized tenants is affirmed.  
          The rent reduction ordered for rent controlled tenants is modified 
          to be $13.00 per month.  If any rent controlled tenant owes arrears 
          by reason of the Commissioner's determination herein, the arrears 
          may be paid off in installments of $12.00 per month or 
          immediately if any tenant vacates.  With regard to rent stabilized 
          tenants, 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.

               The Commissioner notes that the owner's rent restoration 
          application (Docket No. DL130027OR) has been granted.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and 
          Rent and Eviction Regulations it is 

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted in part, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and 
          the same hereby is, affirmed as modified herein.

          ISSUED:

                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                                   






    

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