DB110035RO
                                  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.: DB110035RO 
                                                            DB110036RO
                                                RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                DOCKET NO.: BI110070B       
                    Anita Owner's Inc.,                     BI110069B  
                                                
                                 
                                 PETITIONER  
          ----------------------------------x                      
                                                                       

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW     
                          
               On February 3, 1989, the above-name petitioner-owner filed 
          petitions for administrative review (PARs) of orders issued on 
          January 10, 1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing 
          accommodation known as 99-05, 99-40, and 99-60 63 Drive, Rego Park, 
          NY, wherein the Administrator directed the restoration of services 
          and ordered a reduction in the stabilized rent.

               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 proceeding was commenced by the filing of complaints of 
          decrease in services by the tenants dated September 30, 1987.  
          Although the complaints related to different building addresses the 
          contents of the complaints were identical.  Thereafter, on August 
          22, 1988 and October 18, 1988 inspections were conducted by a 
          Division employee which confirmed the existence of some of the 
          complained of conditions resulting in the orders of January 10, 
          1989.

               In the PARs, the owner contends that he purchased the building 
          in August, 1988 and was not aware of the complaint; that 80% of 
          repairs were made as soon as the complaint was known; that any 
          retroactive rent reduction should be the responsibility of the 
          prior owner; that some repairs are minor and have been delayed due 
          to the season (playground repairs); that the existence of some of 
          the conditions is disputed (cracked roof steps, leaking playground 
          ramp);and that certain repairs have already been made (hallways 
          plastered and painted).














          DB110035RO




               Copies of the owner's PARs were served on the tenants.  
          Several tenants responded requesting either the PARs be denied or 
          alleging additional defective conditions.

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that the PARs should be 
          denied.

               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 services.

               The Commissioner notes that the inspection was conducted in 
          response to specific items raised in the complaint, and the report 
          was prepared by an agency employee who is not a party to the 
          proceeding.  The Commissioner is of the opinion that it was 
          appropriate for the Administrator to rely on the results of the 
          inspection as they relate to the complaint, rather than the 
          statements of a party to the proceeding, in determining the outcome 
          of this case.  Accordingly, the report of inspection, was properly 
          accorded substantial weight and the results of that inspection 
          support a finding of a decrease in services.

                  A change in ownership before an order is issued does not 
          limit the new owner's responsibility for payment of the retroactive 
          rent reduction.  While the current owner, the petitioner, was not 
          served by this agency with a copy of the complaint, the prior owner 
          was afforded notice of the complaint and an adequate opportunity to 
          respond or otherwise make repairs.  It is the responsibility of a 
          new building owner to obtain information concerning all complaints 
          and proceedings on file with the Division prior to assuming 
          ownership.  As such, it was incumbent upon the petitioner to 
          inquire about the existence of the subject complaint and the status 
          of the prior owner's efforts at addressing same prior to taking 
          title to the building.  Since the prior owner was fully aware of 
          the pendency of the proceeding before the Administrator and to its 
          obligation to maintain services, the petitioner acquired title 
          subject to the petitioner's claim about its own lack of notice and 
          inability to participate in the proceeding is not justified, and 
          the petitioner's request for remand and/or modification of the 
          effective date of the order is not warranted.














          DB110035RO

               Notwithstanding this, the record in this case discloses that 
          the owner was aware of the complaint, it having been disclosed by 
          the former owner, and it responded to the complaint within one 
          month of taking title.  The Commissioner finds that the current 
          owner is bound by the Administrator's order, including the portion 
          of the order which reduced rents retroactively. 

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and 
          Code, it is,

               ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, 
          denied and the Rent Administrator's orders be, and the same hereby 
          are, affirmed.





          ISSUED:                                    



                                                  ___________________        
                                                  Joseph A. D'Agosta         
                                                  Deputy Commissioner        
                                                 

                    






    

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