DD130138RO
                                    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.:
                                                  DD130138RO  
                    RICHARD ALBERT,     
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                   PETITIONER     BL130112B
          ----------------------------------x



            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                       IN PART


          On April 10, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on 
          March 20, 1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing 
          accommodation known as 93-45 222nd Street, various apartments, 
          Queens Village, New York, wherein the Administrator directed 
          restoration of services and further ordered a reduction of the 
          maximum and stabilized legal rents, as appropriate.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and 
          has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the 
          issue raised by the administrative appeal.

          This proceeding was commenced by the filing of six complaints of 
          decrease in services filed by various tenants.  An inspection 
          conducted by a Division employee confirmed the existence of some of 
          the complained of conditions resulting in the March 20, 1989 order.

          In the PAR, the owner contends that the order is contrary to the 
          finding of the Division in Docket No. QCS000151B where, after 
          hearings, the Division determined that the subject premises are 
          satisfactorily cleaned and that no abatement should be granted in 
          connection with tarnished brass work. Similarly, the owner alleges 
          that as to the condition of the sagging sidewalk, a prior order 
          issued under Docket No. QCS000601B, determined that the owner is 
















          DD130138RO

          maintaining the sidewalks.  As for the condition of broken and bent 
          chains and stanchions, the owner contends, among other things, that 
          this condition was not mentioned in the complaint and, that falling 
          plaster is a matter of routine maintenance and had already been 
          repaired by the time the order was issued.  The owner further notes 
          that the order contains some inaccuracies in either the address or 
          rent stabilized status of the tenants involved.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be 
          granted in part and the Administrator's order should be modified.

          Of the six complaints addressed in the order hereunder review, none 
          raises the condition of broken chains and stanchions.  The part of 
          the order granting a rent reduction for this condition is hereby 
          rescinded retroactively to the order's effective date.

          The owner's assertion that in a prior proceeding, it was determined 
          that the public areas were being maintained in a clean condition 
          does not establish that the finding in this proceeding, that 
          janitorial services are inadequate, was in error. This is a service 
          that must be provided on an on-going basis and may deteriorate at 
          anytime which, if confirmed by an agency inspection, would warrant 
          a rent reduction, despite an earlier determination that the service 
          was being provided.

          Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code requires DHCR to 
          order a rent reduction upon application by a tenant where it is 
          found that the owner has failed to maintain required services.   
          Required services are defined by Section 2520.6(r) to include 
          repairs, maintenance, janitorial services and removal of refuse.

          Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations authorizes a 
          decrease in rent based on a decrease in essential services.  
          Essential services are defined in Section 2200.3(b) and include 
          repairs, maintenance, janitorial services, and removal of refuse.

          The Commissioner finds that based on the on site physical inspec- 
          tion which confirmed the tenant's complaint of dirty public areas, 
          the rent reduction ordered by the Administrator was warranted based 
          on the finding that the owner had failed to maintain services.

          Notwithstanding this, the Commissioner is of the opinion that dirt 
          behind the radiators and tarnished brass are items which, even if 
          confirmed by inspection, do not warrant a rent reduction.






          The Commissioner has previously held that tarnished brass work on 
          mailboxes does not warrant a rent reduction unless "the mailboxes 






          DD130138RO

          become so grimy as to make their use difficult or their appearance 
          unsightly . . "  Since there was no such finding in this case, the 
          reference to "brasswork needs cleaning" must be deleted from the 
          rent reduction order.  Similarly, the dirty baseboard behind the 
          radiator is not a condition that significantly affects the appear-
          ance of the public areas or impairs the tenant's use of common 
          space.  It does not indicate a failure to maintain services and 
          must also be deleted as a basis for the rent reduction ordered by 
          the Administrator.  Inasmuch as no specific rent reduction amount 
          was attributed to this condition, the rent reduction of $5.00 
          attributable to inadequate janitorial services will remain the 
          same.  In order for this rent reduction to be restored, it must be 
          established solely that the public areas are properly swept and 
          washed (see Docket No. CL110168RO).

          The owner's assertion that in a prior proceeding, it was determined 
          that the sidewalks are being maintained does not preclude the 
          finding in this proceeding of a sagging sidewalk.  This, like other 
          services must be provided on an on-going basis and may deteriorate 
          at any time which, if confirmed by an agency inspection, would 
          warrant a rent reduction despite an earlier determination that the 
          service was being provided.  In this case, the inspection conducted 
          on November 23, 1988 prior to the Administrator's order is more 
          probative of the conditions existing on the date of the order than 
          the inspection conducted  two years earlier in connection with that 
          prior proceeding.

          The Commissioner notes that although the owner alleges that the 
          falling plaster condition had been corrected prior to the issuance 
          of the order under review, he offered no evidence to substantiate 
          this allegation before the Administrator.  Accordingly, in this 
          regard, the owner has offered insufficient reason to disturb the 
          Administrator's order.

          The Commissioner notes that tenant Maloney's complaint dealt only 
          with sagging sidewalk flags in front of the subject building, and 
          the Administrator's order was issued to tenant Maloney at the 
          subject building address.  The record, however, indicates that this 
          tenant does not reside in the subject building.  It was, therefore, 
          error for the Administrator to have issued the order to tenant 
          Maloney and such order is hereby revoked as to that tenant.  Any 
          arrears due the owner as a result of this order shall be paid in 12 
          equal monthly installments.





          An attachment to the order lists two other tenants, Harroway and 
          Kowalski, as rent stabilized instead of rent controlled.  The 
          Commissioner notes that this is an error in labelling and has no 
          effect on the correctness of the order itself, which ordered a rent 












          DD130138RO

          reduction of $12.00 per month pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the 
          Rent and Eviction Regulations.


          THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabiliza- 
          tion Law and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, 
          it is,

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in 
          part, and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby 
          is, modified in accordance with this order.


          ISSUED:



                                                                         
                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner
             
    

TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name