CL110165RO
                                  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

          -------------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE        ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                                  DOCKET NO.: CL110165RO  
                          
                  RICHARD ALBERT                                             
                                                     RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                     DOCKET NO.: BL110743S   
                                     PETITIONER
          -------------------------------------x

          ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On December 16, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on 
          November 21, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the 
          housing accommodation known as 94-43 222nd Street, Apt.#1G, Queens 
          Village, N.Y., wherein the Administrator determined that the owner 
          was not providing required services, directed restoration of such 
          services and ordered a rent reduction.

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

          A review of the record reveals that the tenant filed ten separate 
          complaints seeking a rent reduction based on the owner's failure to 
          maintain the following services:

                    1.   Damage due to water seepage in living room

                    2.   Defective and missing window screens                
                          
                    3.   Leaking kitchen faucet

                    4.   Infestation of cockroaches                          
                                                      
                    5.   Exterior window sashes require painting

                    6.   Defective toilet flushometer                        
                                                     
                    7.   Large cracks in living room wall.


















          CL110165RO


          The complaints were sent to the owner on May 26, 1988.  

          The owner responded that these complaints are among 306 complaints 
          received by the owner in one day, prepared by another tenant in 
          violation of a court stipulation.  The owner also alleged that all 
          required services are being maintained, that no rent reduction is 
          warranted, and that the issue of exterminating services was the 
          subject of hearings conducted in another DHCR proceeding 
          (QCS000151B) wherein it was determined such services are being 
          provided on a monthly basis.

          A physical inspection of the subject apartment on September 29, 
          1988 revealed leaking hot and cold kitchen faucets, peeling paint 
          and plaster on the living room wall and ceiling, missing screens in 
          the living room and bedroom and defective screens in the kitchen 
          and bathroom, a broken pane and other defects in the living room 
          windows, and no evidence of vermin infestation.

          Based on this inspection report, the rent reduction order appealed 
          herein was issued.

          In the petition for administrative review, the owner asserts, in 
          relevant part, that the order reduces the rent for two items that 
          were not part of the original complaints (broken pane in left 
          living room window and living room right window has a defective 
          latch and is difficult to open and close), that the owner has had 
          continuing problems of access for repairs with this tenant, that 
          all painting and plumbing repairs were completed before the order 
          was issued and are minor items anyway, that screens are not a 
          service provided by the owner, that it was a violation of federal 
          law to order a rent reduction without a hearing, that these 
          complaints were prepared by another tenant in violation of a court 
          order, and that the signing of multiple complaints by tenants 
          constitutes harassment.

          In answer to the complaint, the tenant opposes the petition, 
          claiming that the rent reduction was based on an on-site 
          inspection, that access has not been denied, and that the owner has 
          not complied with an earlier order that directed the restoration of 
          screens but did not order a rent reduction (Docket No. AG110037S).

          After careful consideration of the evidence of record, 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 









          CL110165RO

          services.  In the instant case, a review of the complaints and the 
          inspection confirm that there was an adequate basis to order a rent 
          reduction based on the owner's failure to repair the kitchen 
          faucets and the living room wall and ceiling.  However, the 
          tenant's complaint referred to the need for the exterior window 
          sashes to be painted.  The inspector's report and the rent 
          reduction order citing that report stated that one living room 
          window had a broken pane and the other had a defective latch and 
          was difficult to open.  These are not conditions described in the 
          complaint and the failure to notify the owner of the need to repair 
          these items warrants revocation of that portion of the Rent 
          Administrator's order.

          The issue of whether screens are a base date service is the subject 
          of another proceeding which continues to be litigated (SJR 5387).  
          Since the owner's obligation to provide screens for this apartment 
          has not yet been determined, a rent reduction for missing screens 
          is not warranted and that portion of the Rent Administrator's order 
          must also be deleted.

          The owner's other arguments are without merit.  The owner did not 
          establish access problems when the proceeding was before the 
          Administrator, there is no evidence that repairs were completed 
          before the order was issued, federal law does not require a hearing 
          before a rent reduction may be ordered, there is no proof that the 
          complaints were prepared by a tenant representative in violation of 
          a court order, and the Rent Stabilization Law does not recognize 
          harassment of owners by tenants.

          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 to delete the finding that the owner has failed to repair 
          the living room windows or provide screens.

          ISSUED:


                                                                            
                                                    JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER











    

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