Docket Number: DB 430109-RO
                                  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.: DB 430109-RO 
                                                
             PERRY MANSIONS,                     DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                 DOCKET NO.: CF 430100-B  
                                PETITIONER    
          ------------------------------------X                           
            
            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On February 6, 1989,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review  against  an  order  issued  on
          January 6,  1989,  by  the  Rent  Administrator  at  Gertz  Plaza,
          Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known  as
          220 Waverly Place, New York, New York, wherein  the  Administrator
          reduced the tenants' rents based on a finding of  a  reduction  of
          building-wide service.

          The issue in these  proceedings  is  whether  the  Administrator's
          orders' were proper.

          The applicable law is Section  2202.16  of  the  Rent  &  Eviction
          Regulations and Section 2520.6(r) and 2523.4 of  the  Rent  Stabil
          ization Code.

          The tenants commenced this proceeding on August 1, 1988 by  filing
          a joint complaint alleging  various  service  decreases.   Specifi
          cally, the tenants complained that there  was  no  janitor/superin
          tendent either living on the premises or within one block  or  200
          ft. of the subject premises.   The  tenant  asserted  that,  as  a
          result, the public  hallways,  stairs  and  foyer  are  dirty  and
          cleaned infrequently; that the owner  failed  to  repair  a  front
          entrance door lock broken since August 1987; and that the  garbage
          cans overflowed with refuse before a garbage pickup is made.   The
          tenants also complained  that  problems  arising  with  individual
          apartments were not addressed promptly.

          On August 9, 1988, the individual identified as the owner  by  the
          tenants in the complaint responded requesting that  the  complaint
          be dismissed.  The owner argued that the  tenants  had  failed  to
          properly identify the owner in the complaint, but did not indicate 
          his relationship to the owner; that the issue of a resident  super
          was not  within  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Division,  asserting,
          however, that regular janitorial services  were  indeed  provided;
          that the front door lock was operating properly; and than any dust 
          in the halls was a temporary condition  due  to  renovation  being
          made in one of the apartments.


          An inspection was conducted on December 9, 1988, by  a  member  of
          Division's inspection staff.  The rents for the controlled tenants 
          were reduced by $10.00 based on finding  that  janitorial  service






          Docket Number: DB 430109-RO

          throughout the public  areas  were  inadequate  ($5.00),  in  that
          carpeting and hallway floors were dirty,  and  that  the  entrance
          door lock was defective ($5.00),  in  that  it  was  battered  and
          damaged.

          On appeal the  owner  named  by  the  tenants  below,  identifying
          himself as a general partner, reiterates the arguments below  that
          the complaint should have been dismissed for failure to  name  the
          owner properly and claims that janitorial services  are  adequate.
          The petitioner also contends that a  damaged  and  battered  front
          door lock, due to vandalism and beyond  the  owner's  control,  as
          well as stained carpets, were routine maintenance  conditions  not
          constituting reduced services warranting  a  rent  reduction.   It
          also argues that it was denied due process in that the  owner  was
          not given notice of the inspection or provided the opportunity  to
          be present evidence at the inspection, nor provided a copy of  the
          inspection report or the opportunity to cross-examine  the  inspec
          tor.

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

          Despite statements below and at PAR that janitorial services  were
          adequate the inspector reported that public areas were  dirty  and
          the carpets stained.   The  Commissioner  rejects  the  petitioner
          characterization of dirt and stains in  public  areas  as  routine
          maintenance conditions that do not  constitute  reduced  services.
          The owner remains responsible for maintaining  premises  safe  and
          clean, including during  periods  of  maintenance  and  repair  or
          renovations, and failure to  do  so  constitutes  a  reduction  of
          services.  Moreover the Courts have held that  once  the  Division
          determines that there exist conditions constituting  a  diminution
          of services, the Division must order rent reductions.   Hyde  Park
          Gardens v. DHCR, 140 AD2d 351, 527 NYS2d 841 (AD2d  Dept.)  affd.,
          73 NY2d 998, 541 NYS2d 345 (Ct. App. 1989).  

          For similar reasons, the Commissioner rejects the  owner's  charac
          terization of a battered and  damaged  entrance  door  lock  as  a
          routine maintenance condition.  On  the  contrary,  the  condition
          constituted a serious safety and  security  hazard  that  required
          immediate corrective action.  The fact that the  damage  may  have
          arisen as a result of  vandalism  did  not  mitigate  the  owner's
          responsibility to maintain  the  equipment  and  to  make  repairs
          promptly.  The Commissioner is of the  further  opinion  that  the
          tenant's complaint that the front door and lock  required  repairs
          clearly gave the owner notice of defective  conditions,  confirmed
          by inspection, which found the lock battered and damaged.

          The Commissioner also  rejects  the  petitioner's  argument  of  a
          denial  of  due  process  for  failure  to  serve  notice  of  the
          inspection, to have the owner present, to provide  copies  of  the
          inspection report or to provide the owner the opportunity to cross 
          examine the inspector.  

          The Division's procedure do  not  require  the  Division  to  give
          parties notice  of  the  inspection,  unless,  in  the  Division's
          discretion, their presence is required, nor to apprise the parties 
          of the results.  With regard to the request for a hearing to cross 






          Docket Number: DB 430109-RO

          examine the  inspector,  the  Commissioner  notes  that  the  Rent
          Administrator  does  not  require  the  Administrator  to  hold  a
          hearing.  In the absence of such a mandate all  that  due  process
          requires is that reasonable opportunity be  afforded  the  parties
          and that they have opportunity to present their  objections.   The
          owner's vigorous arguments below  establish  that  the  owner  was
          afforded such an opportunity.  The Commissioner further notes that 
          the inspection report, prepared by a rent agency  employee  not  a
          party to the proceeding and not an adversary  to  the  owner,  was
          properly  placed  in  the  record   for   consideration   by   the
          Administrator.  In this regard, the Commissioner  notes  that  the
          record has always been  available  to  the  parties  by  a  proper
          written request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

          As to the petitioner's  argument  that  the  complaint  should  be
          dismissed because the tenant named the wrong party as  the  owner,
          the  Commissioner  notes  that  Section  2520.6(i)  of  the   Rent
          Stabilization Code defines an owner, as follows:

                  (i)  Owner.  A fee owner, lessor,  sublessor,  assignee,
             net  lessee,  or  a   proprietary   lessee   of   a   housing
             accommodation  in  a  structure  or  premises  owned   by   a
             cooperative corporation or association,  or  an  owner  of  a
             condominium  unit  or  the  sponsor   of   such   cooperative
             corporation or association  or  condominium  development,  or
             any other person or entity receiving or entitled  to  receive
             rent   for   the   use   of   occupation   of   any   housing
             accommodation, or an agent  of  any  of  the  foregoing,  but
             such agent shall  only  commence  a  proceeding  pursuant  to
             Section  2524.5  of  this  Title  (Evictions  Requiring  DHCR
             Approval), in the name of such foregoing principals.

          A general partner, whether of the owner or of the owner's managing 
          agent, was therefore, properly deemed an owner for the purposes of 
          these proceeding.

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








          Docket Number: DB 430109-RO


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


          ISSUED:
                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner
    

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