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
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: DE 830180-RT
VARIOUS TENANTS OF 580, 590 & DRO DOCKET NO.: WP85-S-1-50-B
600 BEDFORD ROAD,
PLEASANTVILLE, NY PETITIONER :
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On April 26, 1989, the above named petitioner-tenants filed a Petition for
Administrative Review against an order issued on April 4, 1989, by the
District Rent Administrator, 55 Church Street, White Plains, New York,
concerning housing accommodations known as various apartments of 580,590
and 600 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, New York.
The issue in this appeal is whether the District Rent Administrator's
order was warranted.
The applicable section of the law is Section 2500.3(d) of the Tenant
The Commissioner has reviewed all of 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 tenants' filing of a statement of
Complaint of a Decrease in Building-Wide services wherein the tenants
contended that the landlord was not going to re-use or replace screen
doors which are vital for ventilation in the summer.
In its answer to the tenants' complaint, the landlord contended in
substance that it had replaced the thirty year old, uninsulated front
doors of every apartment with energy-efficient, insulated steel doors, and
that the old screen doors could not be put back on after the new front
doors were installed. The landlord further contended that it had replaced
almost every old window in the apartment complex (casement windows many of
which could not be opened, had fixed panes or no screens) with new -
double - hung thermopane windows with full screens which provide greater
ventilation than what previously existed.
In response to the landlord's answer, the tenants contended in substance
that although the new windows provide greater ventilation than the old
windows, the new windows still did not provide as much ventilation as when
the screen doors were in place with the front doors open.
DOCKET NUMBER: DE 830180-RT
In Docket Number WP85-S-1-50-B issued April 4, 1989, the District Rent
Administrator determined that there had been no loss of ventilation or
light and therefore no decrease in service.
In this petition, the tenants contend in substance that the District Rent
Administrator's order is incorrect and should be reversed because screen
doors were part of the basic services being provided when the current
landlord purchased the subject premises, the landlord received a major
capital improvement rent increase for the installation of new doors and
windows, and removal of the screen doors was a reduction of basic services
for which a rent reduction should be granted due to the loss of adequate
The landlord did not submit a response to the tenants' petition.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be denied.
The record indicates that on June 15, 1988 the District Rent Administrator
granted the landlord a major capital improvement rent increase pursuant to
Docket Numbers PBC-8-10001-OM and PBF-8-10003-OM based partly on the
installation of new outer doors. The record further indicates that no
petition for administrative review of the June 15, 1988 order was ever
filed by the tenants concerning the adequacy of the new doors or the
removal of the screen doors. Accordingly, that order constituted the
final determination of the rent agency with regard to the new door
installation, and the tenants may not now raise the issue by way of
collateral attack in the instant service diminution proceeding. Thus, the
tenants' arguments having to do with the adequacy of the new doors and the
removal of the screen doors will not be considered as they are barred by
the principles of res judicata and collateral estoppel.
The Commissioner notes that installation of a major capital improvement
may alter the physical characteristics of a building or an apartment, but
that such alteration does not necessarily constitute a "reduction in
services". DHCR has previously ruled that there is no reduction in
service where the building-wide installation of air conditioners prevents
the opening of windows. In the instant case the service was the provision
of doors and not the provision of ventilation through any particular
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Emergency Tenant Protection Act and the
Tenant Protection Regulations, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and that
the District Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,