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.:
A. SEYFARTH LARSEN
d/b/a SEYFARTH MANAGEMENT CO., RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
PETITIONER CH 210710-S
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On December 24, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner timely
refiled a Petition for Administrative review against an order
issued on September 25, 1989, by the District Rent Administrator,
92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York, concerning the
housing accommodation known as Apartment A-2, 376 63rd Street,
Brooklyn, New York, wherein the District Rent Administrator
determined that the owner had failed to maintain services which
warranted a rent reduction.
The issue in this appeal is whether t e District Rent Adminis-
trator's order was warranted.
The applicable section of the law is Section 2523.4 of the Rent
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 July 25, 1988 by the tenant's
filing of an Individual Tenant Statement of Complaint of Decrease
in Services wherein the tenant contended in substance that her
apartment was infested with rats and roaches, the apartment
smelled due to dirt in the hallway and clogged up water in the
yard, the bathroom and one of her bedrooms were without elec-
ricity, the windows and kitchen sink were broken, and the
bathroom floor was cracked.
On October 12, 1988, the owner submitted to the Division of
Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) a letter dated October 10,
1988 from an exterminating company stating that the subject
building was serviced on a monthly basis since 1985, and four
tenant's service requests for the subject apartment dated in
September and October of 1988 acknowledging exterminating ser-
vices, the cleaning of the halls, the clearing of the yard drain,
and repairs to the bathroom and bedroom lights, the windows, the
kitchen sink and cabinets, and the bathroom floor.
The subject apartment was physically inspected on September 12,
1989 wherein the inspector noted that the window sashes in the
kitchen, bedroom and living room were rotted; the chain for the
kitchen window was missing; the kitchen sink cabinet was rotted
and the doors were broken; the bathroom floor was cracked; the
bedroom light fixture was broken, and the e was roach infesta-
tion in the apartment.
In Docket No. ZCH 210710-S issued September 25, 1989, the
District Rent Administrator determined that the owner had failed
to maintain services for the subject apartment warranting a rent
On October 17, 1989, the tenant submitted to DHCR a tenant's
affirmation of non-compliance contending that the owner had still
failed to repair the defective conditions in the subject apart-
In this petition, the owner contends in substance that the
District Rent Administrator's order is incorrect and should be
reversed because the owner immediately repaired all the items
listed on the tenant's complaint upon notification from DHCR on
September 23, 1988; the tenant signed off on the service requests
stating that "the apartment is in satisfactory condition and that
all complaints to DHCR that I made are now alright and cor-
rected"; the tenant does not keep the apartment in a clean and
sanitary condition and the apartment is always overcrowded with
visitors; and upon receiving the Administrator's order the owner
immediately contracted to have the repairs made. In support of
these contentions, the owner submits a paid invoice dated October
3, 1989 for repairs made to the subject apartment at a cost of
$1,057.75, three tenant's service requests for the subject apart
ment dated in October of 1989 which were signed by the tenant, a
letter dated October 20, 1989 from the exterminating company
stating that the tenant refused them access to the subject
apartment; a paid invoice dated October 17, 1989 for repairs made
to the subject apartment at a cost of $403.77, a cancelled check
dated October 26, 1989 in the sum of $403.77, and a letter dated
October 27, 1989 purportedly from the tenant stating that the
owner had made the necessary repairs and that she wished to with
draw her complaint.
The tenant did not submit a response to the owner's petition.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code provides in perti-
nent part that a tenant may apply to DHCR for a reduction of the
legal regulated rent to the level in effect prior to the most
recent guidelines adjustment, and DHCR shall so reduce the rent
for the period for which it is found that the owner failed to
maintain required services.
The evidence of record adequately supports the Administrator's
determination that all of the conditions complained of were not
corrected by the owner despite ample notice and the opportunity
to do so. A physical inspection conducted several months after
the owner was first notified of the tenant's complaint confirmed
that all of the necessary repairs had n t been done. Further-
more, a review of the Division's records concerning the owner's
rent restoration application under Docket No. D 210129-OR dis-
closes that the owner still had not repaired the defective
conditions listed in the Administrator's order as of December 4,
1990. Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator
properly ordered a rent reduction for the subject apartment based
on a diminution of services.
The Commissioner rejects the owner's unsubstantiated contentions
that the tenant does not keep the apartment clean and that the
apartment is overcrowded as these contentions were raised for the
first time on appeal and thus, may not be considered at this
stage of the proceeding as this is not a de novo proceeding.
With regard to the owner's submission of a letter from the tenant
requesting withdrawal of her complaint, the Commissioner notes
that pursuant to Section 2520.13 of the Rent Stabilization Code,
an agreement by the tenant to waive the benefit of any provision
of the Rent Stabilization Law or Code is void.
This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the owner's
right to file an application with DHCR for a restoration of rent
based on a restoration of services, if the facts so warrant.
The Commissioner cautions the owner that it may not collect any
rent increase above the level established in the Administrator's
order until an order is issued restoring the rent.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied,
and that the District Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, affirmed.