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 
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :   ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                           :   DOCKET NO.:
                                                  DL-110129-RO
                                              :                        
                    JAIME ASSOCIATES,         :   RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                              :   DH-110536-S       
                                   PETITIONER :                            
          ------------------------------------X


             ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                  IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER


          On December 18, 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, Apt. 4-K, 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 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 18, 1989 by the subject 
          tenant filing a complaint of decrease in services, alleging, among 
          other things, that the refrigerator freezer and the stove pilot 
          light were defective.

          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 tenant's 
          complaint.

















          DL 110129-RO
          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 a space 
          was found in the gasket by the hinges of the refrigerator freezer 
          door; and that the pilot light to the oven was not working 
          properly, taking a length of time for the oven to light.

          On November 29, 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, stating that an answer was supplied on 
          September 13, 1989 (certified mail receipt submitted) and, as 
          represented therein, the refrigerator was checked and found to be 
          in good working order, further noting that the tenant was shown how 
          to defrost it; and the pilot light problem was corrected.  Attached 
          to the answer, and re-submitted with the PAR, is a tenant-signed 
          statement dated September 8, 1989 attesting to the repairs of her 
          complaint.  Lastly the owner notes that, subsequent to the issuance 
          of the order, the items referenced therein were checked again and 
          they were found not to be the same items of the original complaint, 
          but nevertheless, such items were taken care of and the tenant 
          signed another statement dated December 4, 1989, re-submitted with 
          the PAR, again attesting to the repair of the items in question.

          The tenant did not file an answer to the petition.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that the owner's petition should 
          be granted in part and the Administrator's order should be 
          modified.

          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 
          services.

          Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include 
          repairs and maintenance.
               
          In the instant case, however, the owner has established that an 
          answer was filed, and that answer, which was not before the 
          Administrator, contained a statement, purportedly signed by the 
          tenant, that all necessary repairs listed in the complaint had been 
          done.  Based on this statement, the owner could reasonably assume 



          that no further action was required and that the proceeding before 
          the Division would be terminated without a rent reduction.  Due 
          process requires that such a signed statement, if submitted by an 






          DL 110129-RO

          owner, be served on the tenant and, if challenged, that the owner 
          be advised that the complaint was not being withdrawn.

          The subsequent physical inspection of the subject apartment 
          revealed that, contrary to the owner's allegation and the statement 
          allegedly signed by the tenant, the necessary repairs were not done 
          and could not possibly have been done properly in September 1989 if 
          two months later they were found to be defective by the Division's 
          inspector.  A rent reduction for these conditions is required 
          pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, but 
          because of the failure to verify the tenant's signature on the 
          signed work order or to advise the owner that the complaint was not 
          being terminated, the effective date of the rent reduction is 
          hereby modified to December 1, 1989, the first of the month 
          following issuance of the Administrator's order, when the owner had 
          actual knowledge that the complaint was still active and that the 
          agency's physical inspection revealed the need for additional 
          repairs.
               
          The owner's claims about having checked the items in question on 
          December 4, 1989 and, per the second tenant-signed statement, re- 
          addressing such items involves action taken subsequent to the order 
          and are not relevant to the issue in this administrative appeal.  
          The Commissioner further notes that the items cited in the order 
          were categorically raised in the tenant's complaint.

          The Division's records reveal that the owner's rent restoration 
          application was granted on September 14, 1990 (DRO Docket No. EA- 
          110042-OR).


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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in 
          part and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, 
          modified.


          ISSUED:


                                                                           
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Acting Deputy Commissioner
                                          






    

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