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.:
Milburn Management Corp.,
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On August 30, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
August 12, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 2641 Marion Avenue, Bronx, N.Y., Apt. 4-C,
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 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 the subject apartment.
On June 3, 1988, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the
owner failed to maintain services. More specifically, the tenant
claimed that there is a ceiling leak in the bathroom and that the
pipe under the sink is dripping.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint alleging that most of
the leakage in the subject apartment is caused by the irresponsible
behavior of the tenants living in apartment 5-C, but that all
repairs have been properly scheduled.
A DHCR inspection conducted on July 6, 1988 revealed that the
bathroom drain is leaking; that there is peeling paint and plaster
in the master bedroom, living room and dining room; that the foyer,
kitchen and northern bedroom walls have water-stains and that the
leaks are coming from the apartment above the subject apartment.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
it had no notice of the bathroom leak until receipt of the appealed
order, in August 12, 1988, and that it has repeatedly repaired
apartment 5-C, but the problem keeps reoccurring. The owner
further alleged that the plastering and painting complaint was
first made to its office in January, 1987.
The petition was served on the tenant on October 6, 1988.
On August 24, 1988, the tenant filed an answer alleging that the
owner failed to respond to her repeated repair and painting
requests which were made in person to the owner and when they were
eventually addressed, the work was done in an unworkmanlike manner.
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 a 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 Commissioner has considered and rejects the petitioner's claim
that it had no notice of the bathroom drain-pipe leak.
A review of the complaint shows that the bathroom drain-pipe leak
was specified with sufficient particularity and that the petitioner
had adequate notice from the complaint of this condition.
A copy of the tenant's complaint was mailed to the owner on June
14, 1988 and the Rent Administrator's order was issued on August
The Commissioner also finds that the owner's statements on appeal
constitute an admission that the ceiling leak was not properly
addressed and that the problem was caused by overflow conditions
emanating from apartment 5-C. Paragraph two (2) of the appeal
We have constantly repaired the above apartment, 5C,
which is flooding Ms. Hallman's apartment. See enclosed
bills. This tenant in 5C has been uncooperative with
repairs and due to the flooding, it has been impossible
to repair the ceilings in Ms. Hallman's apartment.
Impossible because the areas needing repairs never dry
out sufficient enough to be repaired. Only once, at the
end of January, 1988, was the plastering done. This was
by the superintendent. Only two days later was the
apartment flooded again by the above apartment.
The inspector's report clearly showed that even if the owner
attempted to correct the conditions prior to the issuance of the
Rent Administrator's order, it had failed to do so in a workmanlike
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the rent Administrator's
The Commissioner finds, that the Administrator properly based his
determination on the entire record, including the results of the
on-site physical inspection conducted on July 6, 1988, and that
pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the Administrator was
authorized to reduce the rent upon determining that the owner had
failed to maintain services.
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.
Upon restoration of services the owner may separately apply for a
rent restoration and the rent reduction remains in effect until an
application for rent restoration is filed and granted.
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
the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA