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.: CK510016RO
DOCKET NO.: BL510231S
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On November 4, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review of an order issued on October
17, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 508 West 171 Street, Apt. 21, New York,
N.Y., wherein the Administrator reduced the tenant's rent upon a
finding of a decrease in apartment services.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issue raised by the administrative appeal.
This proceeding was commenced by the filing of a complaint of
decrease in apartment services by the tenant on December 22, 1987.
A copy of the tenant's complaint was served on the owner. The
owner responded to the tenant's complaint stating that many of the
conditions in the apartment are the result of tenant abuse, that
the tenant vacates the apartment for periods of time and rents to
third parties who abuse the apartment, that the tenant is
consistently two to six months behind in the rent, that in 1986
when the apartment was due for painting, the tenant refused access,
that the owner has never ignored service requests and included a
list of all service calls, repairs and installations made in this
apartment since the inception of this tenancy.
Thereafter, an inspection of the apartment conducted by a DHCR
inspector confirmed some of the complained of conditions ,
specifically rotted kitchen window sash and sill and vermin
infestation in kitchen, resulting in the order herein appealed.
Several other complained of conditions were found to be maintained.
In the PAR, the owner again states that the tenant has rented the
apartment to strangers who have destroyed it, yet tenant faults the
owner for the apartment's deterioration, that the finding of a
broken kitchen window sash was not raised in the tenant's
complaint, that the owner has acted in good faith to insure the
habitability of the apartment and includes an updated list of
repairs made in the apartment and previously submitted before the
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be denied.
The tenant complained of broken or rotted window frames in three
different rooms. While the kitchen window was not specifically
mentioned in the tenant's complaint, the Administrator requested
the inspector to check for broken window frames throughout the
apartment. The owner indicates in the answer to the tenant's
complaint that window repairs, including the kitchen windows, were
made in the apartment in August 1984, October 1984, September 1986,
and February 1987. It is clear that the owner was made
sufficiently cognizant of the condition of the apartment's windows
to put the owner on notice of the condition ultimately found.
Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code provides in pertinent
part that a tenant may apply to DHCR for a reduction of the legal
regulated rent to the level in effect prior to the most recent
guidelines adjustment, and DHCR shall so reduce the rent for the
period for which it is found that the owner failed to maintain
In the instant case, a review of the record, which included the
results of a physical inspection conducted at the subject premises,
reveals that the owner failed to maintain services. Accordingly,
the Commissioner finds that the Rent Administrator's determination
that the owner failed to maintain services was warranted and that
the Administrator properly reduced the tenant's rent.
With regard to the owner's contention that the conditions in the
apartment were caused by the tenant, the Commissioner rejects these
allegations in that they were not established by the owner in the
proceeding before the Administrator.
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted
by the filing of this petition is vacated upon the 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, denied, and
that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA