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-110069-RO
JAIME ASSOCIATES, : DRO DOCKET NO.:
PETITIONER : TENANT: FRED PASSICK
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
28, 1989 by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street,
Jamaica, NY, concerning the housing accommodation known as 102-30
Queens Boulevard, Apt. 6A, Forest Hills, NY, wherein the
Administrator directed the restoration of services, further finding
that a rent reduction based thereon was warranted.
The issue in this appeal is whether the Administrator's order
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 25, 1989 by the
subject tenant filing a complaint of decrease in services,
alleging, among other things, that the tiles in the bathroom needed
regrouting and the soap dish was broken; that the kitchen faucet
leaked; that there was a burn on the kitchen counter, apparent
since taking occupancy; and that there was a crack on the living
On September 1, 1989, a copy of the complaint was sent to the
owner with instructions to file an answer within twenty days. The
record discloses no answer from the owner in response to the
On November 16, 1989, a Division staff member made a physical
inspection of the subject apartment to investigate the tenant's
claims. The inspector reported, among other things, that the
bathtub tiles by the faucets needed caulking and the soap dish
(handle) was broken; that the kitchen faucet mixer leaked; that
there were burns on the kitchen counter top; and that the living
room ceiling had a long, thin crack.
On November 28, 1989, the Administrator issued the order
hereunder review, reducing the tenant's rent to the level that was
in effect prior to the last rent guidelines increase based on the
above-mentioned items in the inspector's report.
In the petition for administrative review (PAR), the owner
seeks reversal of the order, asserting that an answer had been
supplied (certified mail receipt dated September 15, 1989
submitted). The owner also submits 1) a tenant-signed statement
dated December 8, 1989 advising that caulking work was made to the
bathroom tiles and the repairs were made to the kitchen faucet; and
2) a letter dated December 13, 1989 from the owner to the subject
tenant, referring to the living room ceiling crack and requesting
that the tenant advise about an access date for painting work in
the apartment. Lastly, the owner asserts that the burn on the
kitchen counter was caused by the complainant tenant's
carelessness, further stating that the owner does not replace
counter tops when a tenant burns same with a hot pot or cigarettes,
preferring instead to supply contact paper.
In answer to the PAR, the tenant advises, in pertinent part,
that the tile work was not workmanlike; that the kitchen faucet
still occasionally leaks despite the owner's work; that the burn on
the kitchen counter top was there when the tenant moved in; and
that a date has been given to the owner for painting.
On March 30, 1990, the owner filed a rebuttal to the tenant's
answer disputing the tenant's comments in the answer, however, the
specific assertions are not relevant to this appeal proceeding.
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
which it is found that the owner has failed to maintain required
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to 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 Division's November 16, 1989 inspection report which
identified, and corroborated, each of the tenant's claims in his
complaint. Therefore, the Commissioner finds that the
Administrator correctly determined that the owner had failed to
maintain services and properly reduced the tenant's rent.
Although the owner states in the petition that an answer was
supplied and submits a copy of a certified mail receipt dated
September 15, 1989, the documents supplied with the PAR (ie, the
December 8, 1989 tenant-signed statement and the owner's December
13, 1989 letter) are dated subsequent to the issuance of the order
appealed from. Therefore, the assertions of the documents do not
establish that the Administrator's order was not warranted. The
owner's further claim that the kitchen counter burn was caused by
the carelessness of the tenant is rejected as self-serving.
The Division's records reveal that the owner's rent
restoration application was denied on September 4, 1990 (DRO Docket
No. EA-110043-OR). The rent reduction remains in effect until an
order restoring rent is issued by the DHCR.
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