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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CK110085RO
          RICHARD ALBERT                          RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
                                                  NO.: BL110748S


          On November 25, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued on November 17, 1988 concerning the housing 
          accommodations known as Apt. 3T, 93-49 222nd Street, Queens 
          Village, NY, wherein the Administrator determined that the owner 
          was not providing certain required services, directed restoration 
          of such services, and ordered a rent reduction.

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

          The record indicates that the tenant filed nine separate complaints 
          bearing various dates between March and November 1987.  The 
          complaints alleged that the owner was not maintaining certain 
          required services, including in pertinent part, an inoperative 
          intercom and missing screens.  The complaints were served on the 
          owner on May 26, 1988.

          In response, the owner stated that screens are the tenant's 
          responsibility and that these complaints were prepared by a tenant 
          representative in violation of a court order.

          A physical inspection by DHCR on September 26, 1988 revealed that 
          the intercom was inoperative and the left bedroom window screen was 

          Based on this report, the Rent Administrator issued the rent 
          reduction order appealed herein.

          In the petition for administrative review, the owner asserts that 
          it was determined by DHCR in another proceeding that an intercom is 


          not a required service.  With regard to the screens, he asserts 
          that the building is over 55 years old, that screens are not a base 
          date service provided to rent stabilized tenants, and that any 
          remaining screens are well beyond their useful life expectancy and 
          should have been discarded and replaced by the tenant many years 
          ago.  The owner also asserts that a hearing was required before a 
          rent reduction order could be issued and that the complaints were 
          prepared by a tenant representative to harass the owner in 
          violation of a court stipulation.

          The petition was served on the tenant on December 23, 1988.

          In an answer dated January 10. 1988, the tenant states that she is 
          a party to the other DHCR proceeding wherein the issue of whether 
          the intercom is a required service is being addressed and is 
          awaiting the outcome of the appeals.  As for the screens, the 
          tenant states that screens were on the windows when she took 
          occupancy on May 1, 1980 and that the owner has acknowledged his 
          obligation in this regard by repairing and refinishing all but the 
          one missing screen which was removed but not returned.  

          After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted 
          in part.

          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 an owner has failed to maintain required services.  
          Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) as that space 
          and those services provided on the base date and any additional 
          space or services provided or required to be provided thereafter by 
          applicable law.
          The Division's records confirm that the intercom issue was the 
          subject of other proceedings before the Division and that it was 
          determined in a Court order issued on May 24, 1991 that an intercom 
          system is not a required service in the subject building.  
          Accordingly, this item in the order appealed herein must be deleted 
          as a basis for the rent reduction.

          With regard to the screen, however, the order is affirmed.  The 
          tenant stated in the complaint that all the windows in the 
          apartment had screens but that one was removed for repair by the 
          owner and not returned.  While the owner claims that screens are 
          not a required service, the fact that most of the windows do have 
          screens suggests that they were provided at one time.  The owner's 
          attempt to shift the responsibility for replacing old and defective 
          screens on the tenant is inappropriate.  If screens were formerly 
          provided, the Code provides that the owner, and not the tenant, 
          must repair or replace them when necessary.
          Finally, there is no requirement in the applicable law or 
          regulations that a hearing is required before a rent reduction 


          order may be issued and the claim that the complaints were prepared 
          in violation of a court order is unsubstantiated.

          The Division's records reveal that the owner's rent restoration 
          application was granted (Docket No. DE110071OR)

          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.
          Therefore in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
          it is 

          ORDERED that this petition be and the same hereby is granted in 
          part and the Rent Administrator's order be and the same hereby is 
          modified in accordance with this order and opinion and as so 
          modified, affirmed.



                                             LULA M. ANDERSON  
                                             Deputy Commissioner


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