DA110221RT, et al.
STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEALS OF DOCKET NOS.:
Richard Albert, Owner
Rosemary Chiesa, Tenant
Elizabeth Blanda, Tenant
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On various dates, the above-named petitioner-owner and tenants
filed petitions for administrative review of an order issued on
January 19, 1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodations known as various apartments at 93-41, 93-45 and 93-
49 222nd Street, Queens Village, N.Y. wherein the Administrator
determined that the owner was not maintaining required or essential
services, directed restoration of such services, and ordered a rent
reduction for rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments.
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 below when 21 separate complaints
alleging a failure to maintain various building-wide services were
consolidated into one proceeding.
In answer to the complaints, the owner stated in substance that all
required services are being maintained.
A physical inspection of the premises on November 14, 1988 revealed
that the public areas were in need of sweeping and washing, the
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baseboard trim and corners beneath radiators needed cleaning, the
light fixtures were dirty, the walkway adjacent to the rampwell
(northeast courtyard) showed signs of sinking, and the inside of
the vestibule door was chipped and scratched. Other items
contained in the complaints were found to have been corrected.
Based on the inspector's report, the Administrator issued orders
reducing the rent for rent stabilized tenants by a guideline and
for rent controlled tenants by $10.00 per month.
The two tenants who filed petitions for administrative review
assert that the orders should be modified to reflect the rent
controlled status of their apartments and to order a specific
dollar amount rent reduction.
The owner's petition appeals the order issued for Apt. 452K only
and asserts that the tenant of this apartment has indicated in
writing that a complaint was never made. The owner also asserts
that it was determined in an earlier proceeding that no rent
reduction was warranted for the maintenance of public areas, that
no complaint was filed mentioning the vestibule door, and that it
was also found in another proceeding that all sidewalks were being
maintained. The fact that many items were found by the inspector
to have been repaired established that the major maintenance items
are being taken care of and the conditions found are, according to
the owner, only minor items that do not warrant a rent reduction.
Finally, the owner argues that a hearing should have been conducted
and that the complaints were prepared by a tenant representative in
violation of a court stipulation.
The tenants' petitions were served on the owner and the owner's
petition was served on the tenant.
After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that both the owner's and the
tenants' petitions should be granted.
The Division's records are inconclusive as to the status of the
petitioner-tenants' apartments. If the apartments are rent-
controlled, the tenants are entitled to a $10.00 per month rent
reduction, effective on the first rent payment day following
January 19, 1989, the issuance date of the Rent Administrator's
If the status of the tenants' apartments is unknown or in dispute,
the tenants should commence an appropriate proceeding with the
Division for a determination as to whether the apartments are
subject to rent control or rent stabilization.
With regard to the owner's petition, the Division's records reveal
that the subject apartment (452K) is rent stabilized. Also, a
review of the various complaints that initiated this proceeding
reveals that the tenant of Apt. 452K did not sign any one of the
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complaints. By not requesting a rent reduction, the subject rent
stabilized tenant is not entitled to a rent reduction and the order
as to that tenant is revoked.
Since the owner did not appeal the order as to other tenants, it is
affirmed in all other respects. It is noted, however, that one of
the complaints specifically mentioned that the inner vestibule door
and portal is chipped and scratched and this condition was
confirmed by the inspector.
The other items regarding janitorial service and the condition of
one walkway were also confirmed by the inspector. It is irrelevant
that these same matters were determined to be adequately maintained
in an earlier proceeding. The owner has an ongoing duty to provide
required services and if such services deteriorate at any time, a
rent reduction may be warranted even if an earlier determination
found such services to be adequate.
The taking of oral testimony at a hearing to resolve factfinding
issues is not required by law but is within the discretion of the
Administrator and in the opinion of the Commissioner, the
Administrator properly declined to schedule a hearing in this case.
Finally, the owner has not established that the filing of the
instant complaints was done by a tenant representative in violation
of a court stipulation.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code
and the Rent and Evictions for New york City, it is
ORDERED, that the tenants' petitions be and the same hereby are
granted and the Rent Administrator's orders be and the same hereby
are modified to order a $10.00 per month rent reduction, effective
the first rent payment day following January 19, 1989 if the
subject apartments are rent controlled, and it is further
ORDERED, that the owner's petition be and the same hereby is
granted solely to the extent of revoking the Administrator's rent
reduction order as to Apartment 452K, but is affirmed in all other
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA