DJ 210241 RO; EF 410077 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK   11433



          ----------------------------------X     S.J.R. 5819
          IN THE MATTER OF  THE  ADMINISTRATIVE      ADMINISTRATIVE  REVIEW
          APPEALS OF                              DOCKET NOS.: DJ 210241 RO
                                                               EF 410077 RO
              CHARLES BIRDOFF AND COMPANY,
                                                  DRO DOCKET NOS.: CK 430094-B
                                                                   CL 630070 B
                                  PETITIONER
          ----------------------------------X                                   


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                         AND
                                TERMINATING PETITION

          On October 27, 1989 and June 4, 1990, the above-named petitioner 
          owner filed near identical Administrative Appeals against  orders
          issued by the District Rent Administrator on September  25,  1989
          and May 16, 1990, concerning housing accommodations known as  436
          East 76th Street, New York, New York, Various Apartments.

          Subsequent thereto, the owner filed a petition in Supreme  Court,
          pursuant to Article 78 of  the  Civil  Practice  Law  and  Rules,
          requesting  that  the  court  direct  the  Division  to  issue  a
          determination of the owner's administrative appeals.

          The Commissioner deems it appropriate to consolidate the  owner's
          administrative appeals for determination  under  this  Order  and
          Opinion.

          The Administrative Appeals are being determined pursuant  to  the
          provisions of 9 NYCRR 2202.16.

          The issue herein  is  whether  the  District  Rent  Administrator
          properly determined the tenants'  complaint  of  a  reduction  in
          services.

          The first order issued by the  District  Rent  Administrator  was
          revoked because it improperly referred to the apartments affected 
          by the order as Rent Stabilized, when in  fact,  it  should  have
          affected only rent controlled apartments.  An amended order  was,
          therefore, issued by the District Rent Administrator, on
          May 16,1990.

          The tenants commenced this proceeding by filing  a  building-wide
          services  complaint  asserting  that  the  owner  had  failed  to
          maintain services in the subject building.

          A notice of Transmittal of Tenant's Complaint was mailed  to  the
          owner on January 19, 1989; but the owner did not file  an  answer
          with the Rent Administrator.






          DJ 210241 RO; EF 410077 RO

          Thereafter, on June  26,  1989,  an  inspection  of  the  subject
          premises was conducted by a Division  of  Housing  and  Community
          Renewal  (DHCR)  inspector,  which  confirmed  the  existence  of
          certain  defective  conditions  and  the  correction   of   other
          defective conditions.

          The Rent Administrator's amended order of May 16, 1990,  directed
          restoration of the defective conditions and  a  $6.00  per  month
          reduction in the  Maximum  Legal  Rent  of  all  rent  controlled
          apartments.

          On appeal,  the  petitioner-owner  essentially  alleged  in  both
          petitions that a storage area is not  a  required  service;  that
          peeling paint and plaster is a  problem  de  minimus  in  nature,
          which had been  attended  to  by  the  building  employees;  that
          pointing of the air-shaft parapet  wall  is  also  a  de  minimus
          problem, which does not directly affect any of the  tenants;  and
          that an affidavit from the superintendent of the subject building 
          attests that all of the tenants'  service  complaints  have  been
          cured.

          After a careful consideration of the entire  evidence  of  record
          the Commissioner  is  of  the  opinion  that  the  administrative
          appeal under Docket No. DJ 210241 RO should be  denied  and  that
          the administrative appeal under Docket No. EF 410077 RO should be 
          terminated.

          Insofar  as  the  amended  order  superceded  the  District  Rent
          Administrator's  order  issued  on  September   25,   1989,   the
          Commissioner finds that the petition filed on October 27, 1989 is 
          moot and should be terminated.

          Concerning the issue of storage space, since the owner failed  to
          rebut the tenant's allegations made  to  the  Administrator,  the
          owner may not challenge the Administrator's finding on appeal.

          Referring to the petition filed by the owner on June 4, 1990, the 
          owner's petition does not make clear whether it  is  the  owner's
          contention that repairs had been made  before  the  building  was
          inspected or whether the contention is  that  repairs  were  made
          following the issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.  If  it
          is the former, then the  owner's  allegation  is  belied  by  the
          report of the agency inspector.  If it is the  latter,  then  the
          Rent Administrator's order reducing  the  rent  was  nevertheless
          correct when issued, and this order is issued  without  prejudice
          to the owner filing a restoration of services application.

          The Commissioner notes that  the  agency  inspection  report  has
          greater probative value than  the  self-serving  and  unsupported
          allegations of the owner on appeal.

          The Commissioner does not agree with the owner's contention  that
          other conditions are of a "de minimus" nature, unworthy  of  rent
          reduction.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the  provisions  of  the  Rent  and
          Eviction Regulations, it is







          DJ 210241 RO; EF 410077 RO
          ORDERED, that the petition under Docket No. DJ 210241 RO be,  and
          the same hereby is terminated; that the petition under Docket No. 
          EF 410077 RO be, and the same  hereby  is  denied  and  that  the
          District Rent Administrator's order be, and the  same  hereby  is
          affirmed.



          ISSUED:
                                                  ------------------------
                                                  ELLIOT SANDER
                                                  Deputy Commissioner
           
             
                                          
    

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