DF 430212-RO

                                    STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:   
                                                  DF 430212-RO             
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                   PETITIONER     CA 430104-B       

                                       IN PART

          On June 21, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed an Admin- 
          istrative Appeal against an order issued on June 12, 1989, by the 
          Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall, Jamaica, New York, concerning 
          the housing accommodations known as 107-109 West 82nd Street, 
          New York, New York, various apartments.

          The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced 
          the rents of various rent stabilized and rent controlled apartments 
          in the subject building.

          The Rent Administrator's order, appealed herein, determined that 
          the rent for rent stabilized apartments should be reduced to the 
          level in effect prior to the last rent guideline increase which 
          commenced before the effective date of the order based upon a 
          diminution of services and further determined that the maximum 
          legal rent for rent controlled apartments should be reduced by 
          $13.00 per month based upon a diminution of services.  The Rent 
          Administrator's order was based upon an inspection held on April 7, 

          Although the inspection report disclosed that twenty (20) service 
          items had been either corrected or were in progress by the owner, 
          the report showed that the following service deficiencies existed 
          at the time of the inspection:

               1.   The cellar door is partially installed.
               2.   The parapet wall requires pointing.
               3.   The fire escape requires painting.
               4.   Bulkhead door is rusted.
               5.   Cellar toilet room requires fixture replacement.

          DF 430212-RO

          On appeal, the petitioner-owner averred that the inspector erred by 
          concluding that the cellar door was partially installed; that there 
          was no reduction in toilet service to the tenants because the 
          toilet space is a new commercial space currently under construction 
          with approved city plans and that the other specified service de- 
          ficiencies were of a de minimis nature not requiring a reduction in 

          One rent stabilized tenant answered the petition and said that 
          although all repairs have been completed, they were not done when 
          the complaint was filed or the inspection took place.

          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.

          A review of the complaint filed by the tenants on January 22, 1988 
          reveals that the tenants did not request a rent reduction.  

          Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) the Division is required to order a 
          rent reduction based on a finding of failure to maintain services 
          only when the tenant applies for a rent reduction.  It was, there- 
          fore, error to order a rent reduction for rent stabilized tenants 
          of this proceeding and that portion of the Administrator's order 
          must be revoked.  Despite the revocation of the rent reduction for 
          stabilized tenants, the owner remains obligated to restore services 
          and risks additional penalties for failing to comply.

          For rent controlled tenants, Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Evic- 
          tion Regulations provides that a finding that an owner has failed 
          to maintain services may result in an order of decrease in maximum 
          rent, in an amount determined by the discretion of the Rent Admin- 
          istrator.  No request for a rent reduction is required.

          Nearly sixteen months had elapsed from the time a copy of the 
          tenants' complaint was mailed to the owner to the time the Rent 
          Administrator's orders were issued, on June 12, 1989.

          A review of the record before the Administrator clearly shows that 
          the owner did not submit any evidence that the deficiencies noted 
          on the inspector's report were completed in a workmanlike manner at 
          the time of the DHCR's inspection or at any time prior to the 
          issuance of the Administrator's order.

          The Commissioner has considered and rejects the owner's claim on 
          appeal that most of the defective conditions found were of a de 
          minimis nature that do not warrant a rent reduction.  In accordance 

          DF 430212-RO

          with the authority provided by Section 2202.16, the Administrator 
          ordered an appropriate rent reduction to reflect the decreased 
          rental value of the subject housing accommodations because of the 
          defective conditions cited in the inspection report.  Moreover, the 
          tenants are entitled to all services provided on the base date or 

          The Commissioner notes that with regard to the issues raised con- 
          cerning the cellar toilet room fixtures, the DHCR mailed the 
          tenants a Notice of Opportunity to Present Further Information and 
          Evidence, on September 25, 1992, but no answer was submitted.  In 
          view of the tenants' failure to rebut the owner's allegation that 
          the cellar toilet is not a facility available for tenant use, that 
          item should be deleted from the Administrator's order.  

          The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based his 
          determination on the entire record, including the results of the 
          on-site physical inspection conducted on April 7, 1989 and that 
          pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations 
          the Administrator was authorized to reduce the rents of the rent 
          controlled tenants upon determining that the owner had failed to 
          maintain services.

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

          ORDERED, that this administrative appeal be, and the same hereby 
          is, granted in part, and that the Administrator's order be, and the 
          same hereby is, modified, to revoke the rent reduction for rent 
          stabilized tenants and to revoke the $2.00 per month rent reduction 
          for the cellar toilet room fixtures for rent controlled tenants as 
          provided hereinabove.  The order of the Rent Administrator is 
          hereby affirmed in all other respects. Any arrears owed by the 
          tenants as a result of this determination may be paid off in 24 
          monthly installments.


                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Acting Deputy Commissioner


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