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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CG430041RO
          First Regan Realty Corp.                RENT                       
          by Nick Pappas, Managing Agent          ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
                                                  NO.: BK430067B


          On July 22, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a Petition 
          for Administrative Review (PAR) against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued on June 23, 1988 concerning the housing 
          accommodations known as various apartments at 275, 277, and 279 
          West 22nd Street, New York, NY wherein the Rent Administrator found 
          that certain services were not being provided or maintained, 
          directed restoration of such services, and ordered a rent 

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

          A review of the record reveals that on November 5, 1987,  the 
          occupants of eight apartments in the subject 18 unit building 
          joined in filing a statement of complaint of decrease in building- 
          wide services.  The complaint alleged that the resident 
          superintendent has been replaced with a visiting superintendent who 
          lives on East 96th Street and that, as a result, there has been a 
          decrease in building-wide services.  The tenants claimed that the 
          lights in the public areas burn out and are not replaced for days 
          and sometimes weeks, that garbage cans are not attended to for long 
          periods of time, that the front doors are in need of repair and do 
          not provide adequate security, that the sidewalks and public areas  
          are frequently littered and dirty, that Con Edison cannot get 
          access to read the meters, and that the owner has told the tenants 
          that there cannot be a resident superintendent because there is no 
          apartment available.

          In answer to the complaint, the owner stated that 24 hour 
          janitorial service is provided at the premises by a superintendent 
          whose phone number is conspicuously posted, that the front doors 


          and locks have been inspected and repaired as needed, that there 
          are no unsanitary or unlawful conditions at the premises, that the 
          residency of a superintendent is academic if the building is 
          properly provided with such service, that there is no documentation 
          that Con Edison has been unable to read the meters, and that the 
          tenants have improperly attempted to group these three separate 
          buildings into a single building.

          A DHCR inspector visited 277 West 22nd Street on January 28 and 
          February 4, 1988.  He reported that the outside light was burned 
          out, there was no garbage accumulation in the public areas, the 
          front door was not defective, the public areas were clean, and 
          there was no resident superintendent or emergency sign posted.

          On February 24 and March 1, 1988, the inspector visited 275, 277, 
          and 279 West 22nd Street and reported that the outside lights were 
          inoperative, garbage cans were strewn about the sidewalk and there 
          were an inadequate number of cans, the lock for 279 was inoperative 
          but the locks for the other two buildings were not defective, 
          inadequate janitorial service was evident in all public areas, and 
          there was no resident superintendent or 24 hour emergency phone 
          number posted. 

          Based on the inspector's reports, the Rent Administrator issued 
          orders reducing the rents of stabilized tenants by a guideline and 
          the rents of rent controlled tenants by $9.00 per month for:

               1.  Inoperative building entrance exterior lights.

               2.  Insufficient amount of garbage cans (6 for 3 buildings).

               3.  Inadequate janitorial services.

               4.  Inoperative building entrance door lock. (279 only).

          In the petition for administrative review, the owner's managing 
          agent asserts, in substance, that rent reduction orders are 
          improperly based on an isolated inspection that did not give a fair 
          representation of the premises.  The owner claims that the entrance 
          door lock at 279 is operational and was operational at the time the 
          complaint was filed, that there are now nine garbage cans which is 
          more than adequate, that some cans were missing when the inspector 
          visited because they had been vandalized, and that the tenants 
          never complained about the number of cans.  The owner adds that the 
          lights were inoperative because the tenants insist upon installing 
          larger bulbs than the permissible 60 watts which causes the circuit 
          breakers to trip.  The owner also claims that the finding regarding 
          inadequate janitorial service is improper because it does not 
          indicate to what degree or in what manner janitorial services are 
          insufficient and that such services are provided on a daily basis 
          by the superintendent.


          The petition was served on the tenants on October 21, 1988.  In 
          response, one tenant filed a lengthy and detailed answer, including 
          photographs, urging that the petition be denied because services 
          have not been restored.

          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 requires DHCR to 
          order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant, where it is 
          found that the owner has failed to maintain required services.  
          Required services are defined by Section 2520.6(r) as that space 
          and those services which the owner was maintaining or was required 
          to maintain on the applicable base date, including repairs, 
          decorating and maintenance, the furnishing of light, heat, hot and 
          cold water, elevator services, janitorial services and removal of 

          Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations authorizes a 
          rent reduction for rent controlled tenants based on a failure to 
          maintain essential services.  Essential services are defined in 
          Section 2200.3 as those services which the landlord furnished or 
          was obliged to furnish on April 30, 1962 and which were included in 
          the maximum rent on that date, including in relevant part, repairs, 
          decorating and maintenance, the furnishing of light, janitor 
          service, and removal of refuse.

          The rent reduction ordered by the Administrator was properly based 
          on the results of the on-site inspections by an impartial Division 
          employee who confirmed that there were inoperative entrance 
          exterior lights, insufficient garbage collection, inadequate 
          janitorial service and one inoperative entrance door lock.  The 
          owner's petition does not establish any basis for modifying or 
          revoking this determination.  The claim that repeated repairs are 
          made or that certain conditions are caused by vandals does not, 
          even if proven, excuse an owner from the continuing obligation to 
          maintain all required and essential services.  Moreover, the 
          finding of an insufficient number of garbage cans and inadequate 
          janitorial services is directly related to the tenants' complaint 
          that superintendent services have been diminished.

          The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted 
          for rent stabilized tenants by the filing of the PAR is vacated 
          upon issuance of this order and opinion.

          The Division's records reveal that the owner's rent restoration 
          application (Docket No. EA430172OR) was granted on August 8, 1991.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code 
          and the Rent and Eviction Regulations 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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