STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: DA230053RO
DOCKET NO.: CF230017B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On January 3, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review of an order issued on November
29, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known a 5007 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y., various
apartments, wherein the Administrator determined that the rent for
rent stabilized apartments should be reduced to the level in effect
prior to the last rent guideline increase which commenced before
the effective date of the order and by $10.00 per month for rent
controlled tenants based upon a diminution of services. The Rent
Administrator's order was based upon an inspection held on
September 15, 1988, which showed that although some services were
being maintained others were not.
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.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly
reduced the rents of various rent stabilized and rent controlled
apartments in the subject building.
The tenants filed a building-wide service complaint on June 9,
1988 and on June 23, 1988, a Notice and Transmittal of the Tenants'
Complaint was mailed to the owner. One of the allegations in the
complaint was that the building entrance door is broken.
On July 14, 1988, the owner submitted an answer to the
complaint requesting an extension until September 30, 1988 to make
all necessary repairs because an application was being made for a
loan to rehabilitate the entire building.
The DHCR held an inspection on September 15, 1988 and the
inspection revealed that although a number of repairs were
corrected or unnecessary the building entrance door was defective,
the left door had a loose door knob and loose glass in the door
frame and the right door had a loose door knob with loose and
broken glass in the frame.
A follow-up inspection on October 13, 1988, showed that the
conditions relative to the entrance door were essentially
unchanged. The inspector reported that the glass on the entrance
door was constituting a hazardous condition, and the lock on the
door was broken.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner alleges that the building
entrance door cannot be locked because it would preclude access to
the bell system, that a contract has been entered into for the
installation of a new door, that a new intercom system will then be
installed, that application has been made for a rehabilitation
loan, that the cracked glass was replaced the first week of
December 1988, and that a locked front entrance is not an essential
The petition was served on the tenants on February 28, 1989.
Several tenants answered, stating in substance, that many other
conditions in the building besides the building entrance door
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record
the Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code,
a tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) for a reduction of the legal regulated rent to the level in
effect prior to the most recent guidelines adjustment, and the DHCR
shall so reduce the rent for the period for which it is found that
the owner had failed to maintain required services.
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include
repairs and maintenance.
Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations provides,
that an owner's failure to maintain essential services may result
in an order of decrease in maximum rent, in an amount determined by
the discretion of the Rent Administrator.
Essential services are defined by system 2200.3(b) to include
repairs and maintenance.
Based on the inspection report, the Administrator issued the
rent reduction order appealed herein. Upon the facts found herein
the Commission finds that the Administrator properly based the
determination on the entire record, including the results of the
on-site physical inspections conducted on September 15, 1988 and
October 13, 1988, and that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the
Code and Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations the
rent reduction ordered by the Administrator based upon the
determination that the owner had failed to maintain services.
The Commissioner notes that the owner had five (5) months from
the date of service of the tenants' complaint until the issuance of
the Rent Administrator's order to act on the tenants' complaint and
to make the necessary repairs, but failed to do so.
The owner also failed to raise the issue of whether the door
is required to be locked while the proceeding was before the
Administrator and may not raise it now for the first time on
appeal. Even if the door is not required to be locked, the owner
concedes in the petition that the glass was not repaired until
after the order was issued.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, and the Rent and Eviction Regulations
for New York City, it is,
ORDERED, that this administrative appeal be, and same hereby
is, denied, and the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby
Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply
for a rent restoration.
Joseph A. D'Agosta