DG130207RO
                                  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
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: DG130207RO
                                                  
                                                  RENT
          LUCCHESE & VACCARO                      ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: CJ130036B
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


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

               On July 24, 1989 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued June 21, 1989. The order concerned various 
          housing accommodations located at 157-11 Sanford Avenue, Flushing, 
          N.Y.  The Administrator ordered a building-wide rent reduction for 
          failure to maintain required services.  

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

               This proceeding was commenced on August 4, 1988 when 26 
          tenants of the 80 who reside in the building filed a Statement of 
          Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide Services wherein they 
          alleged the following services deficiencies:

                    1.   Frequent elevator breakdowns,

                    2.   Front doors left open on weekends,

                    3.   Basement door left open on weekends,

                    4.   Hallway floors in need of washing.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on November 
          13, 1988 and stated that the elevator has been out of order a few 
          times, that new doors have been ordered for the front and basement 
          and that the halls are cleaned daily.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          building.  The inspection was conducted on April 9, 1989 and 












          DG130207RO

          revealed the following:

                    1.   Elevator does not run smoothly, jerks during ascent 
                         and descent and does not stop evenly at all floors,

                    2.   Front door in poor condition but is secure,

                    3.   Basement door old and in poor condition but is 
                         locked,

                    4.   Hallways and stairways in need of cleaning.

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on June 
          21, 1989.  A rent reduction of $17.00 per month was ordered for 
          rent controlled tenants.  A rent reduction of an amount equal to 
          the most recent guideline adjustment was ordered for rent 
          stabilized tenants.

               On appeal the owner states that the elevator is repaired 
          immediately upon report of breakdown, that the front door and 
          basement door have been replaced and that the janitorial service of 
          the building is maintained.  The petition was served on the tenants 
          on November 2, 1989.

               Eight tenants filed responses to the petition wherein, in sum, 
          they stated that the Administrator's order was correctly issued and 
          should be affirmed.  One tenant filed a response stating that the 
          petition should be granted because services were being maintained.

               The owner filed a reply on December 12, 1989 wherein it 
          essentially restated the arguments contained in the petition for 
          administrative review.

               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted 
          in part and the Administrator's order should be modified.

               With regard to the rent reduction ordered for the front and 
          basement doors, the Commissioner notes that the tenants complained 
          that the doors were frequently unlocked, thus posing a risk to 
          building security.  The inspector specifically found that, although 
          the doors were in poor condition, they were both secured at the 
          time of the inspection.  Therefore, the Commissioner finds that the 
          Administrator exceeded the scope of the complaint in ordering a 
          rent reduction for these conditions.

               With regard to the issue of the elevator, the Commissioner 
          acknowledges that enforcement of applicable standards regarding 
          elevator operation and safety is under the jurisdiction of the New 
          York City Department of Buildings, which has long established, 
          comprehensive procedures and inspection programs in place.  The 
          staff engaged in carrying out these programs has the necessary 






          DG130207RO

          technical expertise to conduct periodic inspections; to interpret 
          and apply relevant codes, regulations and industry standards and to 
          issue violations.  Further, in view of the City's greater 
          experience with elevator enforcement, the City is in a better 
          position than the DHCR to determine appropriate performance 
          standards and ancillary equipment for elevators of varying age and 
          manufacture.

               The Commissioner notes that a search of the Department of 
          Building records has revealed that no violations regarding elevator 
          operation were issued while the complaint was pending before the 
          Rent Administrator.  Therefore, the Commissioner finds that 
          sufficient evidence does not exist to support the Administrator's 
          finding regarding the elevator.  This finding must, therefore, be 
          revoked.

               Finally, with regard to the rent reduction ordered for the 
          lack of janitorial service, the Commissioner finds that this 
          condition was both specifically complained of and supported by the 
          report of the DHCR inspector.  Accordingly, this finding is 
          affirmed.

               The Commissioner notes that affirming the finding regarding 
          inadequate janitorial service is sufficient to affirm the rent 
          reduction ordered for rent stabilized tenants of the building. The 
          Administrator's order with regard to these tenants is modified to 
          delete the findings regarding the elevator, the front door and the 
          basement door and to affirm the order as modified.

               With regard to rent controlled tenants, the deletion of these 
          items results in revocation of  $14.00 per month in rent reductions 
          ordered for these conditions.  Any rent controlled tenants who owe 
          arrears due to this order and opinion of the Commissioner may pay 
          off any  arrears in twenty four (24) equal monthly installments.  
          Should any rent controlled tenant vacate the apartment or have 
          previously vacated, the arrears are due and payable immediately.

               The Commissioner notes that the Administrator has issued 
          orders bearing Docket Nos. DL130037OR and FF130230OR wherein the 
          rents have been ordered restored.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and 
          Rent and Eviction Regulations it is 







               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted in part, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and 












          DG130207RO

          the same hereby is, affirmed as modified in accordance with this 
          order and opinion.

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                                   
    

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