STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: DB210055RO
Seashore Management Co.,
DOCKET NO.: AK210475S
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on January 20, 1989, concerning the
housing accommodation known as 1177 East 98th Street, Apartment 5J,
Brooklyn, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined the
tenant's complaint of individual services decreases.
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the petition.
The tenant commenced this proceeding by filing a complaint
asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain services in
the subject apartment, in that the owner had not provided a
refrigerator, air conditioners, window screens and blinds.
In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in the
complaint that the owner did not provide air conditioners, screens
and blinds. The owner also noted that the tenant had purchased her
Thereafter, the DHCR conducted an inspection of the subject
apartment. The DHCR inspector reported, in pertinent part, that
blinds were missing from five windows throughout the apartment.
The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services and
further ordered a reduction of the stabilization rent.
In this petition for administrative review, the owner states, in
substance, that the parties had an understanding "that for a lower
rate [tenant] would take care of the blinds". The owner also
refers to prior DHCR determinations (K310674R and 10627). In the
determination per Docket No. K310674R, the Rent Administrator found
that an overcharge claim does not lie when a required service
normally provided by the owner is removed or discontinued. In the
determination per Docket No. 10627, the Rent Administrator
determined, in pertinent part, that blinds are a required service
the owner provides and must replace if they cannot be repaired, but
that the tenant is responsible for their cleaning and maintenance.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is
required to order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant,
where it is found that an owner has failed to maintain required
services. The owner's petition does not establish any basis for
modifying or revoking the Administrator's order which determined
that the owner was not maintaining required services based on a
physical inspection confirming the existence of missing items in
the subject apartment for which a rent reduction is warranted.
The Commissioner also notes that Section 2520.13 of the Code
provides that an agreement by the tenant to waive the benefit of
any portion of the Rent Stabilization Law or Code is void.
The record, including a prior DHCR determination, establishes that
blinds are a required service the owner must provide. The fact
that the tenant's complaint of a general rent overcharge on these
grounds did not lie, and was dismissed, did not prejudice the
tenant's right to a finding of decreased services sufficient to
warrant a rent reduction, in that there was no substantive
determination on the merits of whether there was a services
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted
by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this
order and opinion.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA