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

          APPEAL OF                           :  DOCKET NO.: DL-110064-RO
                    JAIME ASSOCIATES,         :   DRO DOCKET NO.:
                                              :              DH-110537-S
                                PETITIONER    :   TENANT: CELIA GOLDMAN     


               On December 22, 1989, the above-named owner-petitioner filed 
          a Petition for Administrative Review of an order issued on November 
          29, 1989 by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, 
          Jamaica, NY, concerning the housing accommodation known as 102-30 
          Queens Boulevard, Apartment 4M, Forest Hills, NY wherein the 
          Administrator directed the restoration of services, further finding 
          that a rent reduction based thereon was warranted.
               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 administrative appeal.  

               This proceeding was commenced on August 19, 1989 by the tenant 
          filing a complaint of decrease in services, alleging, among other 
          things, that the refrigerator was defective due to age and had to  
          be defrosted every week.

               On September 1, 1989, the Division mailed a copy of the 
          complaint to the owner with instructions to file an answer within 
          twenty days.

               The record discloses that the owner did not file an answer to 
          the complaint.

          DOCKET NO.: DL-110064-RO

               On November 16, 1989, a Division staff member conducted a 
          physical inspection of the subject apartment to investigate the 
          items set forth in the complaint.  In the inspector's report it was 
          noted, among other things, that the freezer door of the tenant's 
          refrigerator was bent, allowing warmer air to enter the freezer 
          compartment and causing the freezer to frost.

               In the order issued November 29, 1989, the Administrator  
          reduced the tenant's rent to the level in effect prior to the last 
          rent guidelines increase based on a reduction in services, citing 
          the inspector's finding of a bent freezer door on the tenant's 

               In the petition for administrative review, the owner seeks 
          reversal of the order and contests the inspector's finding, 
          claiming that the freezer door is not bent but rather the plastic 
          on the door is melted to an extent.  The owner further asserts that 
          the tenant caused the damage to the door by placing a hot 
          instrument thereon to speed up defrosting of the freezer.  Lastly, 
          the owner states that the tenant was offered a replacement 
          refrigerator but the tenant refused the offer.

               The tenant did not file an answer to the petition.

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that the owner's petition 
          should be denied.

               Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, 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, which include repairs and maintenance.
               Review of the evidence of record shows that the Administrator 
          based his determination on the entire record, including the results
          of the November 16, 1989 inspection which indicated that the 
          freezer door to the refrigerator was bent and such condition caused 
          a defrosting problem.  Therefore, the Commissioner finds that the 
          Administrator correctly determined that the owner had failed to 
          maintain services and properly reduced the tenant's rent pursuant 
          to the Section 2523.4 of the Code.

               The petitioner's claim that the tenant's freezer door is not 
          bent fails to refute the inspectorial finding to the contrary, 
          which finding is accorded great weight.

          DOCKET NO.: DL-110064-RO

               The further assertions concerning the tenant's alleged damage 

          to the plastic around the freezer and the offer of a new 
          replacement refrigerator were not raised when this proceeding was 
          pending before the Administrator despite the owner's opportunity to 
          do so, further noting that an answer was never interposed to the 
          tenant's complaint.  The Commissioner therefore finds that 
          consideration of these de novo claims, both of which are 
          essentially self-serving, is inappropriate in this appeal 

               The Division's records reveal that the owner's rent 
          restoration application was granted on December 7, 1990 (Docket No. 

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

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


                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Acting Deputy Commissioner



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