DA130160RO;  DA110081RT                                 
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEALS OF                              DOCKET NOS.:              
DA130160RO;  DA110081RT
                     RICHARD ALBERT               RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                          and                     DOCKET NO.:          
                    ROSEMARY CHIESA,              BL130115B  
                                                  PREMISES:  93-49 222 St.
                                                  Various Apartments
                                  PETITIONERS     Queens Village, New York

                                ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          In January, 1989 the above-named petitioner-owner and tenant filed 
          petitions for administrative review (PARs) of an order issued on 
          December 22, 1988, by a Rent Administrator wherein a rent reduction 
          was ordered based on a finding that certain services had not been 
          provided or maintained.

          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 on appeal.

          This proceeding was commenced in 1987 when sixteen separate com- 
          plaints were filed by three different stabilized tenants alleging 
          a decrease in building-wide services and requesting a rent reduc- 
          tion.  The tenant alleged, among other things, a failure to 
          maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary condition, including 
          baseboards, radiators, handrails and mailboxes in need of cleaning 
          and/or polishing; basement entrance stairwells in poor condition; 
          backyard sidewalk in poor condition, and sidewalk in front of 
          building in poor condition.

          DA130160RO;  DA110081RT                                 

          In answer to the complaints, the owner asserted at the outset that 
          the complaints were all prepared by a tenant representative in 
          violation of a court-approved stipulation.  With regard to specific 
          items, the owner asserted that it had been determined in prior 
          proceedings before the Division that the public areas were being 
          maintained in a clean condition.

          Finally, the owner noted that the complaints involved in this 
          proceeding were among 306 complaints consisting of 982 pages 
          received by the owner on the same day, and argued that this 
          constitutes an abuse of the system by one tenant representative.

          A physical inspection of the premises was conducted by a Division 
          of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) employee on November 23, 
          1988.  The inspector reported the following conditions:

               1.   Public areas in need of sweeping and washing;
               2.   Baseboards and areas behind radiators dirty;
               3.   Handrails, mailboxes and bell and buzzer 
                    system need cleaning;
               4.   Basement entrance to stairwells has cracked 
                    steps and missing cement; backyard sidewalk 
                    has cracks and missing cement; area of side- 
                    walk in front of building sagging.

          Based on the inspection report, the Administrator directed res- 
          toration of services and further ordered a guideline rent reduction 
          for the three complaining tenants and a $12.00 per month rent 
          reduction for all rent controlled tenants in the building.  

          The owner in his petition for administrative review points out that 
          this proceeding involves sixteen separate complaints signed on 
          various dates between May 1987 and April 1988 and again asserts 
          that this is one of 28 dockets involving 306 complaints received on 
          the same day.

          The owner asserts that in another proceeding (Docket No. 
          QCS000151B) it was determined after a hearing that there was satis- 
          factory cleaning of the public areas.

          The owner argues that the fact that the inspector found many items 
          were restored, established that the owner is providing required 
          maintenance the rent reduction should be rescinded.

          DA130160RO;  DA110081RT                                 

          The owner contends that a prior DHCR order determined that services 
          such as cleaning the mailboxes were provided by tenants themselves 
          and in any event are too minor a condition to warrant a rent 

          The owner again refers to a court-approved stipulation that he 
          asserts is being violated by the preparation of multiple complaints 
          for other tenants, by one tenant representative.

          The owner also states that many tenants who were granted a rent 
          reduction did not sign any complaint, that the list of rent 
          controlled tenants does not match the owner's list, that it was 
          determined in a prior compliance proceeding that the owner had 
          repaired the sidewalk, that the tenants have no reason to use the 
          basement entrances which are for building personnel only, and that 
          the backyard sidewalks are also not for tenant use and the repairs 
          were not a high priority on the repair schedule but have now been 

          With regard to Apartment 14, the owner states that the tenant of 
          record is Robert Chiesa, not Rosemary Chiesa, and the apartment is 
          rent controlled, not stabilized.

          The owner's petition was served on all tenants who were awarded a 
          rent reduction on March 27, 1989.  Two rent controlled tenants 
          submitted responses stating in substances that the building is well 
          maintained and that they did not join in any complaints.  Two 
          stabilized tenants also filed answers urging that the owner's 
          petition be denied because the Administrator's order was properly 
          based on the inspection results.

          The tenant asserts in her petition that her apartment is rent 
          controlled and the order should specify a dollar amount rent 

          After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the tenant's petition should be 
          granted and the owner's petition should be denied.

          Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code requires DHCR to 
          order a rent reduction upon application by a tenant where it is 
          found that the owner has failed to maintain required services.  
          Required services are defined by Section 2520.6(r) to include 
          repairs, maintenance, janitorial services and removal of refuse.

          A similar provision in the Rent and Eviction Regulations authorizes 

          DA130160RO;  DA110081RT                                 

          a rent reduction based on a finding of failure to maintain essen- 
          tial services.  The reduction amount is to reflect the decreased 
          rental value of the accommodations because of the decreased ser- 
          vices and is granted to all rent controlled tenants in the building 
          regardless of whether they joined in filing the complaint.

          The Commissioner finds that based on the on-site physical inspec- 
          tion which confirmed that certain building-wide services were not 
          being maintained, the rent reduction ordered by the Administrator 
          is warranted.

          The owner's assertion that in a prior proceeding, it was determined 
          that the public areas were being maintained in a clean condition 
          does not establish that the finding in this proceeding that jani- 
          torial services are inadequate was in error.  This is a services 
          that must be provided on an on-going basis and may deteriorate at 
          anytime which, if confirmed by an agency inspection, would warrant 
          a rent reduction, despite an earlier determination that the service 
          was being provided.

          Similarly, the finding in a Compliance proceeding that the sidewalk 
          had been patched does not preclude a subsequent determination that 
          repairs are needed to correct a sagging condition.

          It is unfortunate that so many complaints were filed against the 
          petitioner at the same time but nothing in the applicable law and 
          regulations precludes such multiple filings.  Efforts are made by 
          the Division to consolidate related proceedings and to avoid dupli- 
          cative rent reductions for identical items.

          The fact that many services were found to have been restored does 
          not establish that the rent reduction ordered herein is not war- 
          ranted.  The Administrator's order found that there was no evidence 
          of graffiti, that the window panes in the public areas had been 
          repaired, that the sidewalk had been patched, that the area above 
          the courtyard has been painted, that the screening had been 
          repaired and that the public area windows open adequately.  These 
          are separate and distinct items from those which formed the basis 
          for the rent reduction and are not relevant to the validity of the 
          finding that these other services were not being properly 

          The allegation that some of the conditions found to be defective 
          are in areas that are not for tenant use was not raised before the 
          Administrator and is, therefore, beyond the scope of review of 

          DA130160RO;  DA110081RT                                 

          these administrative appeals.

          Finally the owner has asserted that a court stipulation involving 
          the tenant representative who filed these complaints prevents her 
          from doing so.  The owner did not submit a copy of this stipulation 
          but it was submitted in conjunction with other proceedings and a 
          careful reading of its terms reveals that it does not state what 
          the owner purports that it states.

          The tenant's assertion in her petition that the Administrator's 
          order should have granted a rent reduction of a dollar amount 
          pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations is 
          correct.  The owner agrees and the Division's records confirm that 
          Apartment 1-Y is rent controlled.  The Administrator's order is 
          therefore, amended to include Apartment 1-Y among the rent 
          controlled apartments which were granted a $12.00 per month rent 

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabiliza- 
          tion Law and Code, and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New 
          York City, it is

          ORDERED, that the tenants' petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted, and the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          denied, and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby, 
          is affirmed, as modified.  


                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner          


TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name