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.:
Coster Realty Co.
c/o Schur Management Co., Ltd.
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On April 19, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
March 21, 1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 162 East 36th Street, Apt. 2A-6, New York,
N.Y., wherein the Administrator determined that a reduction in rent
was warranted based upon a reduction in services.
The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
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 administrative appeal.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of the subject apartment.
On January 4, 1987, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the
owner failed to maintain services. More specifically, the tenant
alleged, in pertinent part, that the owner failed to maintain the
mailboxes in the subject premises.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint alleging that services
are being provided and that the tenant's mailbox is being
A DHCR inspection conducted on February 13, 1989, revealed that
mailbox services were deficient. More specifically, the report
showed that loose mail-box frames on both sides of the foyer
resulted in all mailboxes being loose and that several mailboxes
also had loose and bent mail-box doors.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
another complaint that the tenant filed concerning the mailboxes
was dismissed in an order issued on October 15, 1987 under Docket
No. BA410735-S; and that the mail-box services being offered to the
tenant are the same as always and that, in fact, there has been no
diminution in service.
The petition was served on the tenant on July 14, 1989 and on May
11, 1989, the tenant filed an answer to the petition stating that
other repairs were restored by the owner but that repairs to the
mailbox were incomplete.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) for 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 for 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.
The Commissioner has considered and rejects the petitioner's claim
on appeal that the prior order issued on October 15, 1987, which
dismissed the tenant's complaint in that proceeding is dispositive
in the instant proceeding.
The DHCR inspection in the subject proceeding (CA410721S) occurred
on February 3, 1989 and the inspection in the earlier proceeding
(BA410735S) occurred on June 29, 1987, eighteen months earlier.
The latest inspector's report clearly showed that the owner was not
maintaining mailbox services, in that the existing equipment
required repair, even though the earlier report dismissed the
tenant's complaint in that proceeding.
The tenant has a continuing right to file an appropriate
application for a rent reduction if the facts show that services
are not being maintained.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's
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 February 3, 1989, and that
pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the Administrator was
authorized to reduce the rent upon determining that the owner had
failed to maintain 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.
Upon a restoration of services, the owner may separately apply for
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied and
the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA