Docket No.: DA 110062-RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: DA 110062-RO 
                                                 DOCKET NO.: CF 130095-B

          On January 9,  1989,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review  against  an  order  issued  on
          December 13, 1988, by  the  Rent  Administrator  at  Gertz  Plaza,
          Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodation  known  as
          147-11 79th Avenue, Apartment 3-O, Flushing, New York, wherein the 
          Administrator provided the tenant a  rent  reduction  based  on  a
          finding  of  a  facilities-wide  and  building-wide  reduction  of

          The issue in these  proceedings  is  whether  the  Administrator's
          order was proper.

          The applicable law is Section 2520.6(r) and  2523.4  of  the  Rent
          Stabilization Code.

          The tenant commenced these proceedings on June 20, 1988 by  filing
          a complaint alleging that the driveway was in disrepair, that  the
          playground water fountain cement casing required repairs, that new 
          single hung windows installed by the  owner  to  replace  casement
          windows constituted a reduction of services, and that water  leaks
          through  the  roof  parapet  walls  were  causing  damage  to  the

          The owner responded on August 17, 1988 to  the  effect  that  roof
          repairs were completed and that the owner was in  the  process  of
          repairing the driveway potholes.  The owner asserted that the  new
          windows were operative and that the water  fountains  were  not  a
          required service.

          An inspection conducted on November 28, 1988 by a  member  of  the
          Division's inspection staff confirmed that the driveway and cement 
          walls were uneven and the existence of potholes, that  the  cement
          casing of the water fountain required repairs and replacement, and 
          that the stairwells and areas leading to roof stairs  had  peeling
          paint and plaster due to water seepage.

          Docket No.: DA 110062-RO

          Based on the inspector's  findings,  on  December  13,  1988,  the
          Administrator issued an order reducing the tenant's  rent  by  the
          percentage of  the  most  recent  guidelines  adjustment  for  the
          tenant's lease which commenced before the effective  date  of  the
          rent reduction, August 1, 1988.

          The petitioner challenges the Administrator's order  arguing  that
          there were no grounds for a rent reduction.

          The petitioner argues that the uneven driveway and  potholes  were
          not  rent  impairing  violations,  but  merely  matters  involving
          routine maintenance; that the findings of uneven cement  sidewalks
          was beyond the scope of the tenant's complaint; that  the  finding
          of peeling paint and plaster in the stairwell due to water seepage 
          was  also  not  included  in  the  complaint,  that  the  tenant's
          complaint of peeling paint and plaster about the  area  above  the
          area above the stairs leading to the roof doors did not provide  a
          basis for a rent reduction, as it was not in a  public  area;  and
          that the water fountain is not a service  and,  therefore,  not  a
          basis for a rent reduction.

          The petitioner also argues that the owner was denied  due  process
          in that the owner was not afforded notice of the  inspection,  nor
          an opportunity to make the required repairs, nor to comment on the 
          inspection report.

          After careful consideration the Commissioner  is  of  the  opinion
          that the petition should be denied.

          The Commissioner  rejects  the  petitioner's  characterization  of
          uneven driveways and  potholes  as  conditions  involving  routine
          repair and maintenance.  On the contrary, potholes  constituted  a
          serious  hazards  to  the  tenant's   safety,   requiring   prompt
          corrective action.  The Commissioner further notes  that  potholes
          are not a normal condition  in  driveways.   Moreover,  while  the
          owner stated below that the potholes would be fixed, they remained 
          or had reoccurred at the time  of  inspection.   The  Commissioner
          further  finds  that  the  tenant's  claim  of   uneven   driveway
          sufficiently alerted  the  owner  to  similar  conditions  in  the
          adjacent cement walks.

          The tenant's complained below of damage due to water seepage  from
          a leaking roof parapet into inside walls and to the area above the 
          stairs leading to the roof door.  Peeling paint and plaster  is  a
          foreseeable consequence of water seepage.  The tenant's  complaint
          gave adequate notice that a  problem  existed.   The  petitioner's
          questionable assertion that the stairs leading to the roof are not 
          in a public area, did not excuse the  owner  from  addressing  the
          problem of water leaks in the building.


          Docket No.: DA 110062-RO

          The Commissioner also rejects the petitioner's  assertion  that  a
          water fountain was not a base date service.  The mere presence  of
          the  functioning  equipment  confirms  the  water  fountain  is  a
          required service.  The statement at PAR that "the fountain was 
          abandoned prior  to  the  imposition  of  the  Rent  Stabilization
          Law..." constitutes an admission that  the  owner  has  failed  to
          maintain  and  repair  the  equipment.   The  owner  is  urged  to
          ascertain if the cement casing requires repair or replacement,  if
          not already done so.

          The petitioner's argument of a denial of due process  for  failure
          to serve notice of the inspection or to afford an  opportunity  to
          comment on the inspection report prior to  the  determination  and
          rejected.  The Division's procedures do not require  the  Division
          to give the parties  notice  of  the  inspection  unless,  in  the
          Division's discretion, their presence is required, nor to  apprise
          the owner of the results.  Moreover, the  report,  prepared  by  a
          rent agency employee, not a party to the proceedings, and  not  an
          adversary to either party, was properly placed in the  record  for
          the Administrator's consideration, and was entitled to substantial 

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Code and  the
          Rent and Eviction Regulations, Chapter 403 of the  Laws  of  1983,
          and Chapter 102 of the Laws of 1984, it is

          ORDERED, that the owner's petition be,  and  the  same  hereby  is
          denied and that the Administrator's order be and the  same  hereby
          is affirmed.


                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner


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