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.: CJ430157RO
c/o Cobeco Properties,
DOCKET NO.: CA520063B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
The above-named petitioner-owner filed a timely petition for
administrative review of an order issued concerning the housing
accommodation known as 474 West 150th Street, Various Apartments,
New York, New York.
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 petition.
A review of the record reveals that one rent stabilized filed a
complaint on January 16, 1988, asserting that the owner had failed
to maintain certain building-wide services.
In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in the
complaint and otherwise asserted that Docket No. CA520063B is a
duplicate of Docket No. CA530116HW which was answered on February
Thereafter an inspection of the subject building was conducted by
a DHCR inspector on July 1, 1988 who confirmed the existence of the
following defective conditions:
1. Roof is littered with rubbish and has leakage.
2. Water pressure is low.
3. Vestibule marble step is broken. First floor marble is
cracked and tiles are missing. The stairways have loose and
4. Floors and steps throughout are dirty. Need washing.
Courtyard is littered with garbage and rubbish.
However, the following items were found to have been restored:
1. Door lock has been repaired.
2. Hot water is adequate in building.
The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services and
further ordered, a reduction of the stabilization rent to the level
in effect prior to the most recent guideline adjustment for the one
complaining rent stabilized tenant and a reduction of the maximum
rent of $12.00 per month for all rent controlled tenants in the
In its petition for administrative review, the owner states, in
substance, that the current owner never received the original
complaint. With regard to reduced services, the owner states that
the roof was cleaned and repaired in March 1988 and September 1988;
the vestibule step and stairways have been repaired often, only to
become cracked and damaged again; the floors and steps are swept
and washed every Monday and Thursday by the building
superintendent; and the courtyard is clean.
The DHCR served a copy of the petition on the tenants on December
8, 1988. Six tenants joined in filing an answer stating that most
of the conditions complained of still exist, i.e., the roof still
leaks, the vestibule marble step is broken, stairways have loose
and cracked threads, and minimal care has gone into cleaning the
hallways and courtyards.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be granted in part.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is
required to order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant,
where it is found that an owner has failed to maintain required
The owner's petition does not establish any basis for modifying or
revoking the Administrator's order which determined that the owner
was not maintaining required services based on a physical
inspection confirming the existence of defective conditions in the
subject building for which a rent reduction for rent stabilized
tenants is warranted.
The owner's allegation that they never received the original
complaint is belied by the fact that an answer was received.
However, the owner may not have recognized the Rent Administrator's
order reducing the rent for several tenants when the complaint it
had received and answered was filed by only one tenant.
With regard to rent controlled tenants, the Commissioner is of the
the opinion that the $12.00 per month rent reduction must be
revoked. In the absence of even one rent controlled tenant joining
in signing the complaint, the owner was not on notice that the
jurisdiction of the Rent Control Law was being invoked and that the
rents of all controlled tenants in the building might be reduced.
It was a denial of due process to order rent reductions for rent
controlled tenants and that aspect of the order appealed herein is
The owner may file a rent restoration application if the facts so
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted
by the filing of this petition for rent stabilized tenants is
vacated upon issuance of this order and opinion.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code
and the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, 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, modified to delete the $12.00 per month rent reduction
for rent controlled tenants. Any arrears due as a result of this
order may be paid off in monthly installments of $12.00 per month
until all arrears are repaid.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA