ADM. APPEAL DOCKET NO. DD-430022-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 APPEAL
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.               
                                                 DD-430022-RO    
                                              :
                                                 D.R.O. DOCKET NO.           
                                                 CF - 430116 - B
                     S & M ENTERPRISES                                       
                        
                                             
                                                  

                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X                             

            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                  IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

               On April 6, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed an 
          Administrative Appeal against an order issued on March 17, 1989, by 
          the District Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, 
          New York, concerning the housing accommodations known as 207 East 
          85th Street, New York, N.Y., Various Apartments.

               The issue herein is whether the District Rent Administrator 
          properly reduced the maximum legal rent of apartment 4-FW, and 
          properly directed restoration of services to the rent stabilized 
          tenants who signed the complaint. 

               The District Rent Administrator's order, appealed herein, 
          reduced the maximum legal rent of Apartment 4-FW by $30.00 per 
          month, effective on the first rent payment date following the issue 
          date of the order, pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and 
          Eviction Regulations.  The order further specified that the owner 
          had not filed an answer and that:





















          ADM. APPEAL DOCKET NO. DD-430022-RO

          (x) Based upon an inspection,   
          the rent is reduced as follows:              AMOUNT(S) FOR
                                                       RENT CONTROLLED
          SERVICE(S)                                   APARTMENTS ONLY

               1. The front entrance door is broken.        $5.00
               2. There is evidence of a foul odor in 
                  in the vestibule area.                     3.00
               3. The lights are inoperative in the 
                  public area of the vestibule.              5.00
               4. The lights are inoperative in the rear
                  yard.                                      5.00
               5. There is debris under the stairwell in 
                  the east wing of the building.             3.00
               6. The basement door lock is missing.         5.00
               7. There are broken mailboxes in subject
                  premises.                                  4.00

               The order also directed the owner pursuant to Section 
          2520.6(r) of the Rent Stabilization Code to restore services to the 
          required level by correcting the above conditions for rent 
          stabilized tenants but did not order a rent reduction because the 
          tenants did not request one.  

               On appeal, the petitioner-owner substantially alleges that the 
          District Rent Administrator's order of March 17, 1989, erroneously 
          found that it had failed to interpose an answer below when an 
          answer was actually submitted on September 23, 1988 and if the 
          answer had been considered, no rent reduction would have been 
          ordered. 

               After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record 
          the Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal 
          should be granted in part.

               On June 29, 1988, six tenants joined in the filing of a 
          statement of Complaint of Building-wide Services.  The complaint 
          alleged inter alia that the main door is defective, the outer door 
          is defective, the vestibule is poorly illuminated allowing 
          prostitutes to enter and use this area, the rear yard is dark at 
          night inviting break-ins, there is garbage accumulation under the 
          staircase, there is no lock on the basement door, and many of the 
          mail boxes are broken.

               An inspection of the subject building was conducted by a DHCR 
          inspector on February 22, 1989.  The report of inspection revealed 
          the conditions cited in the Administrator's order.  



               A review of the file shows that the owner's answer was 
          received by the District Rent Administrator.  In that answer, the 






          ADM. APPEAL DOCKET NO. DD-430022-RO

          owner asserted that the main door has a new locking device that is 
          repaired when necessary, that the outer door is not defective but 
          the tenants just want a different door, that the lighting in the 
          vestibule is adequate, that there has never been lighting in the 
          rear yard, that there is no garbage accumulation and that the 
          mailboxes have been repaired.   

               Based on the fact that the owner's answer was received and 
          considered, the Commissioner finds that the owner did not default 
          below.

               However, it is also apparent that the owner's claim on appeal 
          that no rent reduction is warranted is not supported by the record.

               Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations 
          authorizes a decrease in the maximum rent in an amount determined 
          by the Administrator where it is found that there has been a 
          decrease in essential services required to be provided.

               The Commissioner finds that contrary to the owner's 
          allegations, all the conditions for which the rent was reduced were 
          included in the complaint and were found to be defective by the 
          inspector.  The tenants' description of the activities going on in 
          the vestibule as a result of the poor lighting sufficiently puts 
          the owner on notice of the foul odor problem.  Moreover, the 
          inspector clearly reported that the lights in the vestibule and the 
          rear yard were inoperative, not that they were nonexistent.  For 
          these conditions as well as the defective front door lock, debris 
          in the stairwell, and missing basement door lock, a rent reduction 
          is clearly warranted.  As for the broken mail box, however, there 
          is no evidence in the record, that the mailbox of the tenant whose 
          rent was reduced was broken, and in the absence of such a finding, 
          the $4.00 rent reduction for this item must be revoked.    

               Accordingly, the owner's claims in its answer below and on 
          appeal to the effect that essential services, which were the 
          subject of the original reduction order were fully restored are 
          without merit, insofar as they conflict with the findings of the 
          DHCR inspector. 

               The Commissioner notes that the tenant of apartment 4-FW 
          (Rostegui) is a Rent Controlled tenant and as such was not required 
          to request a reduction in rent as a precondition for receiving such 
          a reduction. 




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

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 












          ADM. APPEAL DOCKET NO. DD-430022-RO

          granted in part, and the Administrator's order be, and the same 
          hereby is, modified to delete the $4.00 rent reduction for the 
          broken mailbox.

          ISSUED:


                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

    

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