STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.:
Northern Star Realty,
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING, IN PART, PETITION
FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on June 26, 1989, concerning the housing
accommodations known as 147-25 Northern Boulevard, Apt. 2E, Queens,
New York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined the tenant's
complaint of decreased services. The Rent Administrator limited
the proceedings to the building-wide allegations.
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the petition.
The tenant commenced this proceeding by filing a complaint
asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain services in
the subject premises.
In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in the
complaint or otherwise asserted that all required repairs had been
or will be completed.
Thereafter, the DHCR conducted inspections of the subject premises.
The DHCR inspector reported seeing evidence of roach and rodent
infestation in the garbage room, as well as garbage and debris; hot
water temperature at 110@; debris in the courtyard and general
areas; a broken hallway stairwell light fixture; a defective
elevator in need of repairs; a broken and inoperable intercom;
inadequate janitorial services which caused the building to be
dirty; a broken building entrance door lock; and exposed electric
wires on lightposts in the courtyard.
The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services and
further, ordered a reduction of the stabilization rent.
In the petition for administrative review the owner alleges
various errors of law and/or fact in the Rent Administrator's
order, as more fully set forth below, and asserts that all services
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be granted, in part.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is
required to order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant,
where it is found that an owner has failed to maintain required
The inspector's report that the elevator was defective reflected
the inspector's conclusion, but did not describe the conditions
observed. The Rent Administrator could not determine therefrom
whether the conditions observed, but not reported, constituted a
Also, the authority to determine whether a condition constitutes a
defect so as to warrant a rent abatement lies with the Rent
Administrator, not the inspector. Accordingly, the finding of a
defective elevator must be revoked as predicate for the rent
Also, the inspector's abbreviation of the word building as "Bld"
was inadvertently interpreted and entered in the order as showing
that a "3rd" door lock was broken. The Rent Administrator's order
should be amended to accord with the inspector's report that the
building entrance door lock was broken.
The owner's petition does not establish any further basis for
modifying or revoking the Administrator's order which determined
that the owner was not maintaining required services based on the
record, including an inspection confirming the existence of
defective conditions in the subject premises for which a rent
reduction is warranted.
With regard to the report of electrical wires in the courtyard, the
Commissioner cannot consider the owner's assertion, on appeal, that
these were telephone wires which were the responsibility of the New
York Telephone Company and which were subsequently removed by it.
The assertion is beyond the scope of review, which is strictly
limited to issues and evidence before the Rent Administrator.
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent reduction that resulted
by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this
order and opinion.
The owner may file a rent restoration application if the facts so
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted, in
part, to the extent of revoking a defective elevator as a predicate
for the rent reduction and amending the order to reflect that the
inspection revealed a broken building entrance door lock. In all
other respects, the Rent Administrator's order is affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA