DE 130119 RO; DH 110469 RT; DE 110191 RT
                                  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
          APPEALS OF                              DOCKET NOS.:
                                                  DE 130119 RO
                                                  DH 110469 RT
                                                  DE 110191 RT               
                                                 
            MORRIS SCHARF
            DORIS KAPLAN                          RENT
            DON FILIMON                           ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: CH 130081 B
                                 PETITIONERS            
          ----------------------------------x


          ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING TENANTS' PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE 
          REVIEW AND DENYING OWNER'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                          
               The above referenced administrative appeals have been 
          consolidated as all contain common issues of law and fact.

               The above named petitioner-owner and petitioner-tenants filed 
          and timely refiled Petitions for Administrative Review against an 
          order of the Rent Administrator issued April 27, 1989. The order 
          concerned various housing accommodations located at 111-35 75th 
          Avenue, Forest Hills, N.Y.  The Administrator ordered a rent 
          reduction of $3.00 per month for rent controlled tenants only for 
          failure to maintain required services, declined to order a rent 
          reduction for rent stabilized tenants and directed the owner to 
          restore services.  

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by these 
          appeals.

               This proceeding was commenced on August 15, 1988 when 10 of 
          the 35 building tenants filed a Statement of Complaint of Decrease 
          in Building-Wide Services wherein they alleged the following 
          services deficiencies:

                    1.   Inadequate janitorial service,

                    2.   Refuse accumulation in backyard,

                    3.   Lobby windows not properly secured,













          DE 130119 RO; DH 110469 RT; DE 110191 RT

                    4.   Possible asbestos contamination,

                    5.   Front of building not waterproofed; water leaks; 
                         cracks in apartment walls and peeling windows,

                    6.   Elevator stops in between floors and not on each 
                         floor.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on February 
          14, 1989 and stated that the building has been and is serviced by 
          a superintendent who keeps the premises clean, that the back yard 
          was temporarily dirty but the condition has been rectified, that 
          the lobby window is functioning normally, that an engineer 
          inspected the building for asbestos contamination and that the 
          tenants have not complained about water seepage from the bricks or 
          about elevator maintenance problems.  The owner attached a 
          statement by the prior owner that the building had a resident 
          superintendent and an engineer's report describing the asbestos in 
          the building.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          apartment.  The inspection was conducted on March 15, 1989 and 
          revealed the following:

                    1.   Building vestibule ceiling shows signs of water 
                         stains.

          The following services were found to have been maintained:

                    1.   Adequate janitorial services,

                    2.   No refuse in backyard,

                    3.   Lobby windows open and close properly,

                    4.   Elevator does not stop between floors and levels 
                         within regulations.

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on April 
          27, 1989.  A rent reduction of $3.00 per month was ordered for rent 
          controlled tenants.  The Administrator did not order a rent 
          reduction for rent stabilized tenants but, instead, issued an order 
          directing the owner to restore services.  The Commissioner notes 
          that, on July 25, 1990, the Rent Administrator ordered full rent 
          restoration effective August 1, 1990 (see Docket No. DF 130042 OR). 

               Two rent stabilized tenants have filed appeals from the 
          Administrator's order which declined to order a rent reduction for 
          rent stabilized tenants and, instead, ordered the owner to restore 
          services.  Both petitioners state that, upon a finding that the 
          owner was failing to maintain required services, the Administrator 






          DE 130119 RO; DH 110469 RT; DE 110191 RT

          should have ordered an appropriate rent reduction for them as well.  

               The owner filed responses on July 8, 1991 and August 12, 1992 
          but did not address the issue raised by the tenants in their 
          petitions.
           
               The owner filed a Petition for Administrative Review on May 
          11, 1989 and stated that "The water stain on the vestibule ceiling 
          was removed on April 17, 1989."  One tenant filed a response to the 
          petition but did not address the issue of the water stains.

               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the tenants' petitions should 
          be granted but that the owner's petition should be denied.

               With regard to the owner's petition the Commissioner notes 
          that the petition was filed without any supporting documentation or 
          evidence to substantiate the owner's claim.  It is settled that the 
          bare assertion of a party to the proceeding is insufficient to 
          overturn the findings of the Administrator, especially when there 
          has been a report of an inspector to the effect that services are 
          not being maintained.

               The Commissioner notes that both petitioner-tenants herein 
          joined in the filing of the original complaint seeking rent 
          reduction.  Pursuant to 9 NYCRR 2523.4 a tenant may apply to the 
          DHCR for a rent reduction and the Administrator shall reduce the 
          rent based on a finding of failure to maintain services.  The 
          Commissioner finds that, since the Administrator made the requisite 
          finding, a rent reduction should have been ordered for rent 
          stabilized tenants as well as rent controlled ones.  Therefore, the 
          Commissioner orders that the legal regulated rent for Apt. 24 and 
          Apt. 51 be reduced by the percentage of the most recent guideline 
          adjustment for the tenant's lease which commenced before the 
          effective date of this order.  The rent reduction is ordered 
          effective March 1, 1989, the first rent payment date following 
          service of the complaint on the owner.  Pursuant to the order of 
          the Administrator in Docket No. DF 130042 OR the rent is ordered 
          restored effective August 1, 1990.  The owner is directed to refund 
          excess rents collected as a result of this rent reduction within 30 
          days of the issuance of this order and if the owner fails to refund 
          within 30 days, the tenants are authorized to deduct the amount 
          from future rents until the total amount has been refunded.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and 
          Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City it is 

               ORDERED, that the owner's petition for administrative review 
          be, and the same hereby is, denied and it is further,

               ORDERED, that the tenants' petitions be, and the same hereby 
          are, granted, and that the petitioner-tenants herein are granted a 












          DE 130119 RO; DH 110469 RT; DE 110191 RT

          rent reduction effective from March 1, 1989 to August 1, 1990.

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Acting 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