CK410031RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433


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          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEALS OF                              DOCKET NO.: CK410031RO
                                                  
          CHARLOTTE DEUTSCH                       RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: BJ411068S
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                       IN PART

               On November 14, 1988 and on November 16, 1988 the above named 
          petitioner-owner timely filed Petitions for Administrative Review 
          against an order of the Rent Administrator issued on October 7, 
          1988 and an amended order issued on October 12, 1988, respectively. 
          The orders concerned the housing accommodations known as Apt. B 
          located at 138 W. 73rd Street, New York, N.Y.  The Administrator 
          directed restoration of services and ordered a rent reduction for 
          failure to maintain required services.  The amended order revised 
          the rent regulated status of the subject apartment, the amount and 
          effective date of the rent reduction, and otherwise affirmed the 
          initial order.  Both administrative appeal filings by the owner 
          were assigned Docket No. CK410031RO.

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 
          appeal.

               The tenant commenced this proceeding on October 23, 1987 by 
          filing a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services wherein he  
          alleged, in substance, that the owner was not maintaining certain 
          required apartment services.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on August 29, 
          1988 and stated that this complaint was a duplicate of a complaint 
          filed by the tenant and assigned Docket No. BJ410695S; that the 
          tenant was not in occupancy of the apartment and had no right to 
          file this complaint; and that the owner had made the required 
          repairs to the subject apartment.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          apartment.  The inspection was conducted on September 28, 1988 and 












          CK410031RO

          revealed the following:

                    1.   Plastered areas in need of painting,

                    2.   Bathroom sink is cracked,

                    3.   Storm and screen door to the rear garden do not 
                         close properly,

                    4.   Sliding door frame to the master bedroom is 
                         defective,

                    5.   Hot and cold water shut off valves are without 
                         collars in the kitchen and bathroom where the pipes 
                         enter the walls,

                    6.   Evidence of vermin infestation,

                    7.   Holes in exterior brick walls and at one window,

                    8.   Four closets in need of painting, and

                    9.   New sheet rock installed at second bedroom wall in 
                         need of painting.

          All other services complained of were found to have been 
          maintained.

               The Administrator issued a rent reduction order on October 7, 
          1988 and ordered a rent reduction in an amount equal to the 
          percentage of the most recent guidelines adjustment for the 
          tenant's lease commencing before June 1, 1988 based on the report 
          of the inspector.  The tenant then notified the Administrator that 
          the subject apartment is subject to rent control.  On October 12, 
          1988 the Administrator issued an amended order wherein a rent 
          reduction of $27.00 plus 10% of the maximum legal rent was ordered 
          effective November 1, 1988.

               The owner filed administrative appeals against both of the 
          above-described orders.  The owner states that the complaining 
          tenant does not reside in the subject apartment and has not done so 
          since January, 1986; that a copy of the inspection report described 
          above should have been provided to the owner; that inspections 
          conducted with regard to proceedings in New York City Housing Court 
          found that the tenant's complaints were without merit; and, with 
          regard to the order establishing that the tenant is rent- 
          controlled, that the Administrator erred in so finding.  The 
          petitions were served on the tenant.

               The tenant filed a response on February 7, 1989 and stated, in 
          sum, that the subject apartment was indeed rent-controlled; that 
          the DHCR did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate claims of whether 






          CK410031RO

          or not a tenant resides in the apartment; and that the order issued 
          on October 12, 1988 was correct and should be affirmed.
           
               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition filed on November 
          14, 1988 should be denied; that the petition filed on November 16, 
          1988 should be granted in part; that the amended order, issued on 
          October 12, 1988 order, should be revoked.  The tenant is granted 
          a rent reduction of an amount equal to the percentage of the most 
          recent guidelines adjustment for the tenant's lease which commenced 
          before the effective date of the rent reduction.  Furthermore, no 
          rent increase may be collected after the effective date of the rent 
          reduction, until a rent restoration order has been issued.  The 
          owner is directed to refund to the tenant all amounts collected in 
          excess of the reduced rent since June 1, 1988, the effective date 
          of the rent reduction.
               
               With regard to the owner's appeal of the amended order, the 
          Commissioner notes that the issue of whether the subject apartment 
          is subject to rent control has been independently adjudicated 
          before the DHCR. In Docket No. CJ420011RO the Commissioner ruled 
          that the subject apartment was subject to the Rent Stabilization 
          Law and Code.  The tenant filed a proceeding in Supreme Court 
          pursuant to Article 78 of the CPLR and sought judicial review of 
          the order.  The agency then agreed to remit this matter for further 
          fact finding.  In Docket No. IC410011RP the Commissioner made a 
          further finding of fact and affirmed the prior determination that 
          the subject apartment is subject to the Rent Stabilization Law and 
          Code.  The owner is, therefore, correct, in arguing that the 
          Administrator erred in issuing the amended order on October 12, 
          1988.  That order is, therefore, revoked.

                    With regard to the owner's challenge to the inspection, 
          the Commissioner notes that numerous prior decisions have held that 
          the filing of the complaint puts the owner on notice of the 
          existence of defects in the apartment and the need to investigate 
          and make necessary repairs.  The owner is not entitled to any 
          notice of inspections, the right to be present at such inspections 
          or a copy of the inspection report.  The courts have upheld this 
          policy (see Empress Garden Apts. v. DHCR, 538 N.Y.S.2d 49 [2nd 
          Dept., 1989]).  

                    The Commissioner finds that the Administrator based this 
          determination on the entire record including the above described 
          inspection. The owner has not rebutted the inspector's report. The 
          Commissioner therefore orders a rent reduction as set forth above 
          to be effective June 1, 1988.

               With regard to the owner's argument regarding the alleged 
          nonresidence of the tenants, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that such matter is not the proper subject for determination in a 
          services reduction proceeding.  This order and opinion is issued 












          CK410031RO

          without prejudice to the right of the owner to raise such issue in 
          a separate proceeding in the proper forum.   

               The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement which 
          resulted from the filing of this petition for administrative review 
          is vacated upon issuance of this order and opinion.  The owner may 
          file for rent restoration when services have been fully restored.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it 
          is 

               ORDERED, that the petition for administrative review filed 
          against the order issued on October 7, 1988 be, and the same hereby 
          is, denied and it is further,

               ORDERED, that the petition for administrative review filed 
          against the amended order issued on October 12, 1988 be, and the 
          same hereby is, granted, in part, and that the amended order be, 
          and the same hereby is, revoked and it is further

               ORDERED, that the tenant is granted a rent reduction of an 
          amount equal to the percentage of the most recent guidelines 
          adjustment for the tenant's lease commencing prior to June 1, 1988.

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             LULA M. ANDERSON   
                                             Deputy Commissioner

    

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