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
APPEALS OF DOCKET NOS.: DB110082RT;
AND RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
MORRIS RUBIN, DOCKET NO.: CA110636S
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING TENANT'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE
REVIEW AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER AND
DENYING OWNER'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On February 14, 1989 and February 24, 1989, the above-named
petitioner-tenant and owner, respectively, filed petitions for
administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on February 2, 1989,
by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommodation
known as 110-20 73 Road, Apt. 1-H, Forest Hills, N.Y., wherein the
Administrator determined that there had been a decrease in
apartment services and ordered a reduction in rent.
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 appeals.
This proceeding was commenced by the filing of a complaint of
decrease in services on January 11, 1988, in which the tenant
complained, in pertinent part, about leak damage in the living room
and the failure of the owner to provide three locks on each window
which the old windows had prior to being replaced. In answer to
the complaint, the owner advised that all repairs had been taken
care of. An inspection conducted by a Division employee on
November 29, 1988 and December 6, 1988 determined, among other
things, that there was water damage to the living room ceiling and
wall, with cracks, stains, and bubbling paint. These findings
resulted in the Administrator's February 2, 1989 order reducing the
rent. The order, however, found that the newly installed windows
were working properly.
In her PAR, the tenant states that the Administrator has
misunderstood the nature of the window complaint, that her
complaint concerned window locks, specifically, that the old
windows could be locked in the open position but the new windows
can only be locked when they are closed thus impairing her first
floor apartment security.
On March 6, 1989 the PAR was served on the owner who submitted
answers stating that the original rent reducing violation has been
remedied, and that the new windows, despite the absence of multiple
locks, are sturdier than the old ones.
In his PAR, the owner contends that the living room ceiling
was repaired on April 4, 1988 as confirmed by a letter from the
tenant, and that any additional leaks that the inspector found are
new matters and should not serve to reduce the rent unless the
tenant requests it. The owner states that all leaks have been
taken care of.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that the tenant's petition
should be granted and the owner's petition denied.
The record in this case establishes that in the proceeding
below the tenant complained of, among other things, the fact that
the new windows in the tenant's first floor apartment could not be
locked in a slightly open position as the previous windows which
had been replaced. This was confirmed by the agency's inspection
but this finding was eliminated from the Administrator's order.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator's
order is modified to include window locks, allowing the windows to
be locked in the open position, as a condition warranting rent
reduction, and a service the owner is required to restore.
The record also establishes that the problem complained of by
the tenant in her January 11, 1988 complaint is a chronic recurring
leak that has damaged walls, ceiling, and personal property. The
owner states that repairs were made on April 4, 1988, but the
Commissioner finds that such repairs were insufficient to correct
the problem as was confirmed by the inspection made after that
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
code, it is
ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is
denied, that the tenant's petition be, and the same hereby is
granted, and the Rent Administrator' order be, and the same hereby
is affirmed, as modified herein.
Joseph A. D'Agosta