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 August 11, 1988, the above-named petitioner-tenant filed a
petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on July
12, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 3555 Netherland Avenue, Bronx, New York,
Apt. 4-E, wherein the Administrator determined that a reduction in
rent was not warranted based upon a reduction in 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 denied
the tenant's application for a decrease in rent.
On November 4, 1987, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the
owner failed to maintain services.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint on January 18, 1988,
alleging that the elevator is presently in safe and working order
and that there has been no decrease in services.
A DHCR inspection conducted on May 16, 1988, revealed that there
was extensive renovation throughout the apartment and that all
services were being maintained.
On appeal, the petitioner-tenant asserted, in pertinent part, that
the apartment was in need of a paint job; the floors were unscraped
and that the elevator was temporarily shut down.
The petition was served on the owner on September 30, 1988 and on
October 18, 1988, the owner filed an answer to the petition stating
that there has been no diminution of services and that it has been
ready, willing and able to paint the subject apartment but that the
tenant advised the owner that she will paint the apartment herself.
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 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.
The record clearly shows that the Rent Administrator in denying the
tenant's application for a rent reduction, based his findings on
the results of an inspection, held by the DHCR on May 16, 1988,
which revealed that the owner was providing all required services
specified in the tenant's complaint.
The Commissioner deems it appropriate to rely on the results of the
Division's inspection and finds that the petitioner failed to
adduce convincing evidence that the inspector's findings were
erroneous in any way.
The Commissioner notes that the tenant substantially renovated the
subject apartment with the owner's consent. The Commissioner
further finds that the tenant's voluntary renovation of the
apartment does not constitute a basis for a claim for compensation
from the owner for the completed work. Clearly, this does not
constitute a decrease in services.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, it is
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