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

          APPEAL OF                                  DOCKET NO.: CG430049RO  
                      STUART MILLER                                          
                                                     RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                     DOCKET NO.: BJ430068B   


          On July 1, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition 
          for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on June 1, 1988, 
          by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommodations 
          known as 47 Jane Street, various apartments, New York, N.Y., 
          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 of 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 various rent regulated apartments in the subject 

          On October 20, 1987, the tenants filed a complaint alleging that 
          the owner failed to maintain services.

          DHCR inspections conducted on February 11, 1988 and February 16, 
          1988, revealed that:

                    1.   Public area: filthy, unswept and unmopped.

                    2.   Inadequate garbage collection. Garbage accumu- 
                         lation in public areas, strewn about stairs and 

                    3.   Building entrance door locks inadequate. Locks 
                         defective and offer no security. Doors open to 


          On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that 
          the building's public areas are regularly maintained; that garbage 
          collection and building security are adequate and that despite the 
          building being subject to repeated acts of vandalism, all repairs 
          are promptly made.  The owner further alleged that it was entitled 
          to a copy of the DHCR inspection report. 

          The petition was served on the tenants on October 20, 1988, and in  
          October and November 1988, various tenants filed answers to the 
          petition stating that contrary to the owner's assertions on appeal, 
          the owner failed to make repairs or to provide services.

          After 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 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.

          For rent controlled tenants, Section 2202.16 of the Rent and 
          Eviction regulations provides that a finding that an owner failed 
          to maintain essential services may result in an order of decrease 
          in maximum rent, in an amount determined by the discretion of the 
          Rent Administrator, to reflect the decreased rental value because 
          of the decrease in services.

          A review of the record discloses that the owner, through its 
          attorney, requested six separate extensions to answer the tenants' 
          complaint, ranging from December 21, 1987 to June 9, 1988, but that 
          he had failed to answer the complaint.  Although the extension 
          requests stated that unless denied, it was assumed that the 
          requests were being granted, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that there was no basis for such an assumption and that the owner 
          had sufficient time to interpose an answer.

          The Commissioner finds, therefore, that the petitioner having 
          failed to raise any issue whatsoever while the proceeding was 
          pending before the Rent Administrator, he may not now raise issues 
          for the first time on administrative appeal.

          Moreover, administrative policy and precedent do not require that 


          an owner be given notice of the inspection or the actual inspection 
          results and the courts have upheld this procedure (Empress Manor 
          Apartments v. NYS DHCR, 538 N.Y.S. 2d 49, 147 A.D. 2d 642, February 
          21, 1989).

          The inspections conducted on February 11, 1988 and February 16, 
          1988, demonstrated that the owner failed to maintain services 
          throughout the public areas of the building.

          The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based the 
          determination on the entire record, including the results of the 
          on-site physical inspections conducted on February 11, 1988 and 
          February 16, 1988 and that pursuant to Section 2523.4 (a) of the 
          Code and Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations, a 
          rent reduction reflecting the reduced rental value of the 
          accommodations because of the decreased services was warranted.

          Accordingly, the Commissioner further finds that the owner has 
          offered insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's 

          As regards the Rent Stabilized tenants, the automatic stay of the 
          retroactive rent abatement that resulted from the filing of this 
          petition is vacated upon issuance of this Order and Opinion.

          The Commissioner notes that the owner's application for rent 
          restoration was granted on May 11, 1989, under Docket No. 

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code and the Rent and Eviction Regulations 
          for New York, it is

          ORDERED, that the owner's 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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