Docket Number: DH 230346-RO
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

        APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: DI 230346-RO 
                                               (Refile of DH-230149-RO)
          BETTI ALTIERI,                    
                                               DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                               DOCKET NO.: CJ 230106-B  

        On August 8, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition 
        for Administrative Review against an order issued on July  11,  1989
        by the  Rent  Administrator  at  Gertz  Plaza,  Jamaica,  New  York,
        concerning the housing accommodation  known  as  285  Hicks  Street,
        Brooklyn, New York, wherein the  Administrator  granted  rent  reduc
        tions based on a finding of a diminution of building-wide services.

        On September 13, 1989, the Commissioner issued  an  order  rejecting
        the  owner's  petition  for  various  procedural   reasons   without
        prejudice to the owner to refile  a  properly  completed  PAR  in  a
        timely manner.  The owner perfected  the  appeal  on  September  28,

        The issue in these proceedings is whether the Administrator's  order
        was proper.

        The applicable law  is  Section  2202.16  of  the  Rent  &  Eviction
        Regulations and Section 2520.6 of the Rent Stabilization Code.

        The tenants initiated these  proceedings  on  October  26,  1988  by
        filing a complaint of decreased services alleging that the  refacing
        of building commenced on September 1, 1988 had been left unfinished, 
        permitting cold air and rainwater to seep into the  apartment;  that
        the owner's maintenance staff failed to  clean  interior  and  other
        public areas adequately; and that garbage  and  debris  were  accumu
        lated in the basement, rather than being carted away.

        The owner was served with  a  copy  of  the  tenant's  complaint  on
        November 15, 1988.  There is no record of a response by the owner.

        An inspection conducted on May 5, 1989 confirmed that exterior walls 
        were picked and chiseled, and required pointing; that  stairways  on
        the first and  fourth  levels  had  cracks  and  peeling  paint  and
        plastic, that public areas needed to be mopped; and that garbage and 
        debris were accumulated in the basement of the subject premises.

          Docket Number: DH 230346-RO

        On July 4,  1989,  the  Administrator  issued  orders  reducing  the
        maximum legal rents for rent controlled tenants by $14.00, based  on
        findings that the exterior brick  walls  required  pointing  ($4.00)
        that there was peeling paint and plaster and cracks  in  the  public
        area stairway walls  ($4.00),  that  the  public  areas  were  dirty
        ($3.00) and that there were accumulations of  debris,  garbage,  and
        old appliances in the basement areas ($3.00).

        In the administrative appeal, the petitioner requests that the  rent
        reductions be rescinded  based  on  mitigating  circumstances.   The
        petitioner asserts that the exterior brick wall had, in  fact,  been
        repointed, but remained to be resurfaced  pending  approval  by  the
        City Landmarks Preservation Committee.  The petitioner disputes  the
        Administrator's findings as to cracks in the public  stairways,  and
        lack of janitorial services, asserting  that  cleaning  and  garbage
        removal is done twice a week, and suggests that dirty  public  areas
        and debris in the basement were temporary conditions resulting  from
        renovations.  The petitioner also suggests that tenants  refused  to
        remove their material stored in the basement, in violation of  local
        fire ordinances.

        In addition the petitioner claims the owner was not properly  served
        with notice of the proceedings and  the  order,  in  that  they  are
        addressed to a separate related  business  entity,  at  a  different
        address, rather than to the owner  personally;  which  deprived  the
        owner the opportunity to make prompt repairs  or  to  respond  in  a
        timely manner.

        The tenants responded on February 28, 1990, that rain water and cold 
        air seeps into the apartments, that peeling paint  and  plaster  and
        cracks in the stairway walls  have  not  been  corrected,  that  the
        public areas remain filthy, that garbage removal is inadequate,  and
        that garbage in a basement was  placed  there  by  the  owner.   The
        tenants concede that old appliances stored in the basement were  the
        tenants' property.  As to the petitioner's claim that the owner  had
        not been served properly due to an incorrect name and  address,  the
        tenants pointed out that some tenants mail rent checks to  the  same

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

        Notwithstanding Division records confirming that the  premises  were
        registered by the owner personally at a different address  than  the
        one listed in the notice of the complaint to the  owner,  the  owner
        acknowledged receipt of the complaint.  Nonetheless, the  conditions
        reported remained uncorrected more than six months after service  of
        the tenant's complaint.  The Commissioner also notes that the  owner
        received the Administrator's determination  in  sufficient  time  to
        permit the owner to file a timely PAR.


          Docket Number: DH 230346-RO

        The petitioner's claims of  mitigating  circumstance  are  similarly
        without merit.  The fact that the premises were undergoing 
        renovation that did  not  absolve  the  owner  from  the  continuing
        obligation to clean the premises and to remove debris,  notwithstand
        ing any separate  obligation  that  tenants  remove  their  property
        stored in the basement in alleged violation of  local  fire  ordinan

        As to the petitioner's argument that it was awaiting  approval  from
        the Landmark Preservations Commission before completing work on  the
        facade, the Commissioner notes that the owner  failed  to  establish
        that the owner commenced work with the proper  permits.   The  owner
        must therefore be held responsible for reduction of service  due  to
        work delays pending issuance of required permits by the City agency.
        The tenants further noted at PAR that, while a permit was issued  on
        November 8, 1989 work had not commenced as of February 28, 1990, and 
        that as a result, the walls remained damp and the front rooms drafty 
        and cold.

        THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization  Code  and  the
        Rent and Eviction Regulations, Chapter 403 of the Laws of 1983,  and
        Chapter 102 of the Laws of 1984, it is

        ORDERED, that the owner's petition be and the same hereby is  denied
        and that the  Administrator's  order  be  and  the  same  hereby  is


                                        ELLIOT SANDER
                                        Deputy Commissioner


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