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

          APPEAL OF                             DOCKET NO.: DI410164RO 
                                                RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                DOCKET NO.:  CG420248S      
          KINGSWOOD MANAGEMENT CORP.,                                      

               On September 27, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed 
          a petition for administrative review of an order issued on August 
          23, 1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing 
          accommodation known as 399 East 72nd Street, Apartment 20C, New 
          York, New York, wherein the Administrator reduced the tenant's rent 
          upon a finding of decreased services.

               The tenant initiated the proceeding below by filing a 
          complaint of decreased services in July 1986.  The complaint 
          consisted of the prescribed DHCR complaint form, an attachment the 
          tenant denominated as an "agreement" between the tenant and the 
          owner, dated April 29, 1988, to "implement" stipulations of the 
          Civil Court "of December 7, 1981" and "of June 4, 1982", and to 
          correct Building Department "Violation Number: C008483 of June 29, 
          1982", as well as an allegation that the services had not been 
          maintained since the time of the stipulations.  The "agreement" was 
          not signed by either party.  Upon service of the complaint, the 
          owner filed an answer denying that were there any conditions 
          constituting service decreases, and stated that the "agreement" 
          attached to the tenant complaint was "neither drafted, 
          acknowledged, signed or otherwise recognized by the owner".

               The challenged order reduced the tenant's rent based on the 
          results of an inspection conducted on July 31, 1989 that found that 
          parquet tiles were missing from the living room floor and that the 
          concrete slab was showing; that paint and plaster was peeling 
          throughout the apartment, and that the apartment required painting; 
          that window blinds had been removed; that windows were corroded and 
          rusted, and that paint and plaster was peeling around the windows 
          where water leaked into the apartment; and that one window guard 
          was missing.  Other defects enumerated in the alleged agreement 
          were not substantiated.


               On appeal, the owner reiterates that the complaint consisted 
          of an "alleged" agreement to provide services to the apartment, but 
          contends that the document failed to refer to existing problems.  
          The owner argues the tenant's failure to allege current problems 
          constituted failure to provide proper notice.

               The owner also asserts for the first time on appeal, that the 
          owner's requests for access to the subject apartment to investigate 
          the allegations and to render any required repairs were refused by 
          the tenant.  In support, the owner submits the notarized affidavit 
          of the building manager, detailing the owner's efforts to gain 
          access and the tenant's continuous refusal to provide access unless 
          the owner agreed to do more than correct the defective conditions 
          enumerated in the Administrator's order.

               The owner submits a letter dated September 20, 1989, by the 
          tenant's attorney, setting forth, in pertinent part, that the 
          owner's written request for access omits repairs that the parties 
          allegedly agreed to in Court proceedings, that the tenant insists 
          that the windows be replaced rather than repaired, and that the 
          owner redo the floors rather than replace tiles.

               The owner concludes that the tenant refuses to provide access 
          on various pretexts in order to prevent termination of the 
          outstanding rent reduction.

               The tenant was served with the petition on January 20, 1990 
          and interposed an answer on February 6, 1990.  In his response the 
          tenant, among other things, points to other DHCR proceedings that 
          have arisen between the parties, and alleges incidents of assault, 
          burglary, theft, vandalism and harassment which the tenant asserts 
          have also been the subject of various DHCR, City agencies and Court 
          proceedings and judgments.

               In the reply dated, March 27, 1990, the owner disputes the 
          truthfulness and veracity of the tenant's statements, noting that 
          a jury money judgment allegedly obtained by the tenant for unlawful 
          entry harassment and breach of the warranty of habitability was not 
          against the current owner; that the claims of harassment and  
          complaints filed with other agencies represented mere filings 
          rather than findings; and, moreover, were the result of the 
          tenant's continued refusal to provide access.  The owner 
          categorically denies the tenant's allegations of theft, assault and 
          harassment.  In addition the owner submits a portion of a 
          transcript, of Housing Court proceedings, wherein the tenant's 
          attorney refused to provide access to repair the conditions 
          confirmed by the DHCR, despite the request to do so by the Housing 
          Court Judge.  East 72nd Street Associate v. Wolf.  Index No. 
          94136/[89], N.Y. Co. Civ. Ct. (Grayshaw, J.)

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that the tenant's complaint 
          and attached submissions, as detailed above, constituted sufficient 


          notice to alert the owner of several conditions confirmed on 
          inspection, requiring repairs.  The owner's petition suggests as 
          much, in that the owner acknowledges attempts to gain access to the 
          premises for the purpose of investigating the allegations, albeit 
          characterized as "vague", and to effect repairs.

               The owner's assertion regarding the denial of access, 
          submitted for the first time on appeal, cannot be considered upon 
          administrative review, which is strictly limited to a review of the 
          record before the Administrator and not to consider new claims and 

               Division records do reveal that the Administrator denied the 
          owner's rent restoration application per Docket No. ED420133OR on 
          February 25, 1991.  This order is without prejudice to the owner's 
          right to reapply for rent restoration, predicated on a restoration 
          of services, or in the alternative, upon the tenant's further 
          refusal to provide access to effect repairs.  With respect to the 
          owner's concern that the tenant fails to provide access or that 
          access is providing grudgingly, the Commissioner notes that a "no- 
          access" inspection may be conducted if the tenant fails to provide 
          access to correct the conditions cited.  It is noted, however, that 
          in order to schedule a "no-access" inspection, the owner must 
          comply with the requirements set forth in Policy Statement 90-5:  
          Arranging Repairs No Access Inspections.  In pertinent part, the 
          owner must submit proof that the owner was unable to obtain access 
          even though two letters were sent to the tenant attempting to 
          arrange access dates.  Each letter must have been sent at least 
          eight days before the proposed date for access, and the second 
          letter must have been sent by certified mail.

               With respect to the owner's remaining concerns, the 
          Commissioner notes that the owner may exercise the option to repair 
          defects, rather than comply with the tenant's request that 
          equipment be replaced.  Moreover, the owner is required to correct 
          only those conditions the Administrator found defective and not 
          other defective conditions claimed by the tenant.  Claims of 
          harassment, assault, theft, vandalism and breach of agreements 
          should be raised in forums of competent jurisdiction.  The tenant's 
          reference to complaints regarding violation of other laws and 
          regulations, including provisions of the Rent Stabilization Code 
          that do not concern matters of tenant services, are not matters for 
          disposition by the Rent Administrator with the responsibility for 
          tenant services, although some matters may overlap with services 


               THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code, it is,

               ORDERED, that the owner's petition be denied and that the 
          Administrator's order be affirmed.


                                                  Joseph A. D'Agosta         
                                                  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