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.: DA420260RO
RAYNES ASSOCIATES, LTD.,
DOCKET NO.: CJ420025HW
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On January 27, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
January 9, 1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodations known as 2 Horatio Street, Apt.# 6E, New York, N.Y.,
wherein the Administrator determined that a reduction in rent was
warranted based upon a reduction in heat and hot water services.
The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
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.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of the subject apartment.
On November 14, 1988, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that
the owner was not maintaining heat and hot water services.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint on November 3, 1988,
alleging that the tenant's complaint was not true because boiler
repairs were made just as soon as possible after a fire had
occurred on May 28, 1988.
A Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) inspection
revealed that the owner failed to maintain heat and hot-water
services in the apartment inspected on December 2, 1988. More
specifically, the inspector found inadequate hot water and only
partial heat supply throughout the apartment. The radiator in the
bathroom was cold.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
it should not be held responsible for an unavoidable casualty which
was promptly and properly addressed with the minimum possible
inconvenience to the tenant.
The petition was served on the tenant on February 23, 1989. In a
response dated March 9, 1989, the tenant stated that problems with
the heat and hot water continue to exist.
After careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations provides that
an owner's failure to maintain services may result in an order of
decrease in maximum rent, in an amount determined by the discretion
of the Rent Administrator.
Housing Maintenance Code regulations relating to supply of heat and
hot-water provide as follows:
Section 27-2028 Minimum temperature to be maintained:
a. During the period from October 1 through May 31,
centrally-supplied heat, in any dwelling in which
such heat is required to be provided shall be
furnished so as to maintain, in every portion of
such dwelling used or occupied for living purposes:
1. Between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.,
a temperature of at least 68 degrees
Fahrenheit whenever the outside temperature
falls below 55 degrees; and
2. Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.,
a temperature of at least 55 degrees
Fahrenheit whenever the outside temperature
falls below 40 degrees.
Section 27-2031 Supply of hot water when required:
Except as otherwise provided in this article, every
bath, shower, washbasin and sink in any dwelling
unit in a multiple dwelling.........shall be
supplied at all time (between the hours of six a.m,
and midnight) with hot water at a constant minimum
temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit from a
central source constructed in accordance with
provisions of the building code and the regulations
of the department.
A review of the file shows that the fire occurred in the building
on May 28, 1988 and that a mobile-temporary boiler was installed
shortly thereafter. This unit was replaced with a higher
efficiency model on October 1, 1988 and on December 15, 1988, a
permanent boiler was installed.
However, the tenant alleged and the inspector confirmed that, as of
December 2, 1988, the heat and hot water services were either
sporadic or non-existent.
The results of the inspection confirm the tenant's complaint that
the owner failed to meet the standard set forth in Section 27-2028
and 27-2031 of the Housing and Maintenance Code.
The owner did not submit any evidence that the heat and hot-water
deficiencies noted on the inspector's report were completed in
a workmanlike manner at the time of the DHCR's inspection or at any
time prior to the issuance of the Administrator's order.
The owner had more than six (6) months to install a permanent
boiler from the time of the fire but had failed to do so or to
provide an acceptable and sufficient alternative in the interim.
The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based his
determination on the entire record, including the results of the
on-site physical inspection conducted on December 2, 1988, and
that pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction
Regulations, the Administrator was authorized to reduce the rent
upon determining that the owner had failed to maintain services.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds, that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's
determination. The rent will be restored only when the owner's
rent restoration application is filed and granted.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and
Eviction Regulations for New York City, it is
ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA