DG110200RO;  DG110204RO;  DG110224RO
                                    STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEALS OF                              DOCKET NOS.:  DG110200RO;
                                                  DG110204RO;   DG110224RO
                    RICHARD ALBERT,
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                   PETITIONER     BL130108B      


          On July 18, and 24, 1989, the above-named petitioner filed peti- 
          tions for Administrative Review against an order issued on June 20, 
          1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommoda- 
          tions located at 94-05 222nd Street, Queens Village, New York, 
          Various Apartments wherein the Rent Administrator ordered a rent 
          reduction based on a finding that the owner was not maintaining 
          certain services.

          The issue in these appeals is whether a rent reduction was 

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

          This proceeding was commenced when multiple complaints were filed 
          by three tenants occupying housing accommodations in the subject 
          premises, alleging numerous conditions requiring repair.

          In answer to the complaints the owner asserted that this one docket 
          consists of 30 complaints signed over a period of two years and 
          prepared by one tenant representative, in violation of a court 
          order.  To require a response within 20 days, he claims, consti- 
          tutes harassment by a government agency.  The owner also alleged 
          that the issue of building-wide maintenance services was addressed 
          in other proceedings in which there were extensive hearings and 
          should not be reexamined.  As for the individual items contained in 
          the complaints, the owner asserted that all had been or would be 

          DG110200RO;  DG110204RO;  DG110224RO

          The premises were physically inspected on April 12 and May 12, 1989 
          by a Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) inspector who 
          reported the following:

               1.   Evidence of missing screens right side of building.
               2.   Bulkhead and skylight area is peeling paint and
                    plaster and is bubbled.
               3.   Courtyard entrance doors require painting.
               4.   Brasswork, mailboxes, handrails, and bell and 
                    buzzer unit require polishing.
               5.   Courtyard portal requires scraping and painting.
               6.   Various building windows cannot be locked and do 
                    not open and close properly.
               7.   Outer vestibule right side wall is oil stained.
               8.   Lobby moldings and trimmings are dirty and a sec-
                    tion of molding under mail boxes is missing.
               9.   Public areas require cleaning, including windows.
              10.   Steps to courtyard, sidewalks, walkways, and 
                    stoop require repair.
              11.   Lobby and vestibule area have burned out bulbs. 
              12.   Left-hand side of drapes are ripped.

          Many other items contained in the complaints were found to have 
          been resolved.

          Based on the inspection reports, different orders were issued re- 
          ducing the rent for each of the three complaining tenants, listing 
          on each order the specific condition each tenant complained of.  
          The owner filed a separate petition for administrative review of 
          each order.

          In two petitions he asserts that no rent reduction is justified, 
          that the rent should be restored, and that the answer to the 
          complaint should be incorporated in the petition.  In the third 
          petition, he also contends that the rent was reduced for tenant 
          Maloney for items that tenant did not include in his complaint.

          In answer to the petitions, the tenants assert that the owner has 
          still not made complete and effective repairs, that the rent re- 
          duction was based on an on site inspection by DHCR, and that all 
          items were included in the complaints.

          After careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petitions should be denied, 
          and that the rent reduction orders should be affirmed as modified 

          DG110200RO;  DG110204RO;  DG110224RO

          Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is 
          required to order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant, 
          when 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 

          Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations authorizes a 
          rent reduction where there has been a decrease in essential ser- 
          vices which are defined in Section 2200.3 to include repairs,  
          maintenance, janitorial services, and removal of refuse.

          A review of the record in the instant case, including the two 
          physical inspections, adequately supports the Rent Administrator's 
          determination that the owner is not providing required or essential 
          services for which rent reductions are warranted.

          The owner has not established that the orders appealed herein 
          should be revoked.  The assertion that the issue of the adequacy of 
          building-wide services was determined in other proceedings is not 
          relevant.  Repairs, maintenance, and janitorial services are 
          ongoing obligations and may deteriorate at any time which, if con- 
          firmed by an agency inspection, warrant a rent reduction, despite 
          an earlier determination that the service was being provided.

          It is unfortunate that so many complaints were filed simultaneously 
          but nothing in the Rent Stabilization Law and Code or the Rent 
          Control Law and Regulations prohibits such multiple filings.  
          Efforts are made by the Division to consolidate related proceedings 
          and to avoid duplicative rent reductions for identical items.

          Consistent with that effort, the complaints concerning building- 
          wide services filed by the tenants of the same building were 
          consolidated by the Administrator into the one proceeding reviewed 
          herein, although individual rent reduction orders were issued 
          reflecting the complaints of each tenant.  A careful reading of the 
          complaints filed by tenant Maloney reveals that he did not include 
          any allegations regarding bubbled or peeling paint in the bulkhead 
          or skylight area or the courtyard entrance doors requiring 
          painting.  Nevertheless, the Commissioner is of the opinion that no 
          modification of the orders is warranted.  The record clearly 
          sustains a finding that each tenant is entitled to a rent reduction 
          and since all the items cited are building-wide conditions, the 
          ordered repairs will benefit all tenants.

          However, the Commissioner has previously held (BB130149RT) that 
          tarnished brasswork does not warrant a rent reduction unless it is 

          DG110200RO;  DG110204RO;  DG110224RO

          unsightly or so grimy as to impair the use of the equipment.  Since 
          there is no such finding in this case, the reference to the brass- 
          work on the mailboxes, handrails, and bell and buzzer unit is 
          deleted from each order.  The $1.00 rent reduction attributed to 
          this item for rent controlled tenants is revoked.

          Finally, the owner's reference in his answer to the complaint that 
          a court stipulation precludes the tenant representative who filed 
          these complaints from doing so is without merit.  The owner has not
          submitted a copy of this stipulation but it was submitted in 
          conjunction with other proceedings and a careful reading of its 
          terms reveals that it does not state what the owner purports that 
          it states.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,  
          and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it is,

          ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, denied 
          and the Administrator's orders be, and the same hereby are, 
          affirmed, and modified.


                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner



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