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

          APPEAL     OF                                   DOCKET      NOS.:
                                                 DH 110548 RO DH 110158 RO 
                                              :  DH 110151 RO DH 110160 RO
                                                 DH        130154        RO
                                                 RENT       ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                 DOCKET NO.:  BL  130116  B
                  RICHARD ALBERT,

                              PETITIONER      : 


               The Commissioner has consolidated these  petitions  as  they
          involve common questions of law and fact.

               The   above-named   owner   filed   timely   petitions   for
          administrative review against an order issued on July 6, 1989, by 
          a Rent Administrator concerning various housing accommodations in 
          the buildings known as 94-03,  94-05,  93-41,  93-43,  and  93-49
          222nd Street,  Queens  Village,  New  York,  wherein  rents  were
          reduced due to a diminution of service and the owner directed  to
          restore services.

               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 petition for review.  

               Various tenants,  filed  applications  for  rent  reductions
          based  on  the  owner's  alleged  failure  to  maintain  services
          alleging, inter alia, cracked sidewalks in various areas  of  the
          courtyard, various chain stanchions in the center courtyard  were
          bent and loose, a large tree in the center courtyard  was  rotted
          and in danger of falling, and  there  were  two  broken  basement

               The owner interposed an answer to  the  tenants'  complaints
          wherein he alleged, inter alia, that the DHCR  Compliance  Bureau
          had confirmed repair of  the  sidewalks  on  April  9,  1987  and
          further alleged that all required services were being maintained. 

               On April 20, 1989  a  physical  inspection  of  the  subject
          premises was carried out by the Division of Housing and Community 
          Renewal (DHCR).  The inspector, in his  report,  noted  that  the
          complained of conditions were as alleged by the tenants.

               On July 6, 1989 the Rent Administrator issued the order here 
          under review finding that a diminution of services  had  occurred
          and reducing some of the tenants' rents to the levels  in  effect

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: DH 110548 RO ETC.
          prior to the last rent guidelines increase which commenced before 
          the effective date  of  the  rent  reductions  and  reducing  the
          rentals of the rent controlled tenants by four  dollars  monthly.
          The owner was directed to repair the two broken basement windows. 
               In  his  petitions  for  administrative  review  the   owner
          requests reversal of the Rent Administrator's order alleging that 
          the Compliance Bureau of this Division confirmed  repair  of  the
          courtyard sidewalks on April 9, 1987, that prior to the  date  of
          issuance of the order repairs had again been effectuated  to  the
          sidewalks and the chain stanchions, that the  original  complaint
          made no mention of a rotted tree and that the inspector's finding 
          was based upon a lack of knowledge. 

               Several tenants interposed answers requesting the denial  of
          the owner's petitions.

               After careful  consideration  the  Commissioner  is  of  the
          opinion that these petitions should be denied. 

               The Commissioner notes that although the owner alleges  that
          the complained of conditions had  been  corrected  prior  to  the
          issuance of the order under review, he had offered no evidence to 
          substantiate  this  allegation  before  the  Rent  Administrator.
          Accordingly,  the  owner  has  offered  insufficient  reason   to
          disturb the Rent Administrator's order.

               While the owner alleges that the original complaint made  no
          mention of a rotted tree the Commissioner notes  that  this  item
          was alleged in the original complaint of the tenants of apartment 
          23 at 93-41 222nd Street (item 3 of  complaint)  and,  therefore,
          the Commissioner finds that this item was properly a  subject  of
          the Rent Administrator's order.  The owner had  to  address  this
          item before the Rent Administrator.  

               The Commissioner notes that while the  owner  questions  the
          findings of fact the record clearly reflects  those  findings  by
          virtue of DHCR inspection which occurred on April 20, 1989.   The

          owner's allegation of "extreme bias and lack of knowledge" on the 
          part of the DHCR inspector  is  unsupported  by  any  evidentiary
          showing on the part of the petitioner. 

               The Commissioner notes that the very  nature  of  sidewalks,
          cement, and concrete requires that regular maintenance be carried 
          out.  Climate and conditions, such  as  temperature,  rain,  ice,
          etc. cause expansion  and  contraction  of  surfaces  leading  to
          breakage.  Conditions monitored at one  point  in  time  are  not
          necessarily   probative   of   later   or   earlier   conditions.
          Accordingly, prior administrative determinations have relied upon 
          the greater weight of later inspections occurring  prior  to  the
          issuance of Administrator's order (whether they evince repair  or
          recurrence of breakage).  The Commissioner notes that  the  owner
          has urged that the Commissioner rely  upon  the  March  26,  1987
          inspection of the sidewalks  (mentioned  in  the  April  9,  1987
          compliance letter attached to  the  petition)  and,  indeed,  the

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: DH 110548 RO ETC.
          Commissioner has relied on this  inspection  in  prior  cases  as
          evidence of repair  on  the  date  indicated.   However,  in  the
          instant case the inspection relied on by  the  Administrator  was
          carried out on April 20, 1989  -  subsequent  to  the  inspection
          cited by the owner - and is entitled to more weight since  it  is
          more probative of the conditions existing on July 6, 1989  -  the
          date of issuance of the Administrator's order.

               Section  2202.16  of  the  Rent  and  Eviction   Regulations
          provides that if  the  owner  fails  to  maintain  services,  the
          administrator may order a decrease in  the  maximum  rent  in  an
          amount which the administrator in his discretion may determine. 

               The record in the instant  case  reveals  that  the  tenants
          complained  about  problems  on  the  premises  and  a   physical
          inspection of the premises confirmed that these  problems  indeed

               Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that  the  administrator
          properly determined that the owner had not  made  needed  repairs
          and for this reason rent reductions are warranted. 

               Pursuant to Section  2523.4(a)  of  the  Rent  Stabilization

               A tenant may apply to the DHCR for a reduction of 
               the legal regulated rent to the level in effect
               prior to the most recent guidelines adjustment,

               and the DHCR shall so reduce the rent for the period
               for which it is found that the owner has failed 
               to maintain required services.

          Required services are defined in  section  2520.6(r)  to  include
          repairs and maintenance.

               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 20,  1989  and
          that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the administrator 
          was mandated to reduce the rent upon determining that  the  owner
          had failed to maintain services.  

               This Order and Opinion is issued without  prejudice  to  the
          owner's rights as they may  pertain  to  an  application  to  the
          Division for a restoration of rent based upon the restoration  of

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

               ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same  hereby  are,
          denied, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the  same
          hereby is, affirmed.

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: DH 110548 RO ETC.


                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner



TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name