DH230090RO, DH530508RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                                  92-31 UNION HALL
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433

          APPEALS OF                                   DOCKET NOS.:
                    Martin Hollander,
                    c/o Marin Management

                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.:



          On August 1 and 21, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed 
          petitions for administrative review of an order issued on July 20, 
          1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing 
          accommodation known as various apartments at 131 Joralemon Street, 
          Brooklyn, N.Y. wherein the Administrator determined that the owner 
          was not maintaining certain required or essential services, 
          directed restoration of such services, and ordered a rent 
          reduction.  The petitions are substantially the same and are being 
          consolidated for disposition herein.

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

          The record reveals that 26 tenants joined in filing a complaint on 
          October 19, 1988 alleging a failure to maintain certain building- 
          wide services.  Specifically, the tenants alleged that the lock on 
          the inside lobby front door is broken, that the elevator is 
          frequently out of service, and that the roof leaks resulting in 
          peeling paint and plaster on the sixth floor.  

          In answer to the complaint, the owner stated that the front door 
          has been repaired, that the elevator is kept in excellent working 

          DH230090RO, DH530508RO

          condition pursuant to a service contract, and that a new roof and 
          new skylight were installed in September 1988 but any possible 
          leaks would be investigated.

          A physical inspection by DHCR on April 10, 1989 revealed that the 
          bulkhead walls and 6th floor hallway ceilings have peeling paint 
          and plaster.  All other conditions were found to have been 

          Based on the inspector's report, the Rent Administrator issued an 
          order reducing the rent for all rent controlled tenants in the 
          building by $4.00 per month and by a guideline for all rent 
          stabilized tenants who joined in filing the complaint.

          In the petitions for administrative review, the owner asserts that 
          the peeling paint on the bulkhead is a de minimis condition that 
          does not warrant a building-wide rent reduction, that all other 
          conditions were found to have been corrected, and that one tenant 
          (Apt. 36) has informed the owner in writing that his signature on 
          the complaint was obtained by fraudulent means.  A copy of that 
          tenant's letter is attached to the petition.

          The petitions were served on all affected tenants.  Several 
          submitted answers claiming in substance that only the peeling paint 
          and plaster on the sixth floor had been repaired but that several 
          other conditions still need to be corrected.  The tenant 
          representative vigorously denied that any signatures on the 
          complaint were fraudulently obtained.

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

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

          Similarly, Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations 
          authorizes a rent reduction based on a decrease in essential 
          services.  Essential services are defined in Section 2200.3 to 
          include repairs and maintenance.

          The evidence of record including the physical inspection on April 
          10, 1989 adequately established that the owner failed to complete 
          all necessary repairs despite ample notice and opportunity to do 
          so.  Although some conditions were found to have been corrected, 

          DH230090RO, DH530508RO

          the inspector specifically confirmed the tenants' complaint that 
          the peeling paint and plaster condition on the top floor had not 
          been repaired.  Based on this report, the rent reduction ordered by 
          the Administrator was warranted.  

          As for the tenants affected by the rent reduction, the Commissioner 
          notes that pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction 
          Regulations, a finding of failure to maintain building-wide 
          services results in a reduction in the rental value of the housing 
          accommodations for all rent controlled tenants in the building 
          regardless of whether they signed the complaint.

          For rent stabilized tenants, the rent reduction must be applied for 
          and only those who actually sign the complaint are entitled to the 
          reduction.  In the instant case, if the tenant of Apartment 36 did 
          not sign the complaint, he need not take the reduction.

          The Division's records reveal that the owner's second rent 
          restoration application was granted on February 14, 1991. 

          The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted 
          for rent stabilized tenants by the filing of this petition is 
          vacated upon issuance of this order and opinion.

          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 Rent Administrator's order be and the same hereby is affirmed.  


                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner  


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