STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF : DOCKET NO.: DL-110064-RO
JAIME ASSOCIATES, : DRO DOCKET NO.:
PETITIONER : TENANT: CELIA GOLDMAN
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
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
The record discloses that the owner did not file an answer to
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