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

          APPEAL OF                                  DOCKET NO.: DD530095RO
                   KENNETH DIAMONDSTONE                                      
                                                     RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                     DOCKET NO.: CC410078B   


          On April 17, 1989 the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition 
          for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on March 14, 
          1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommo- 
          dation known as 609 West 186th Street, New York, N.Y., wherein the 
          Administrator reduced the rent of rent controlled and rent stabi- 
          lized tenants upon a finding of a decrease in services building 

          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 by the filing of a complaint of 
          decrease in services by the tenants.  A copy of the tenants' 
          complaint was served on the record owner who responded in an answer 
          dated June 20, 1988 that all conditions in the tenants' complaint 
          had been corrected.  Thereafter, on November 4, 1988, an inspection 
          was conducted by a Division employee which confirmed some of the  
          complained of conditions, resulting in the order hereunder review.

          In the PAR, the owner contends that he was never served with notice 
          of the tenants' complaint and had no opportunity to respond; that 
          the complaints do not constitute rent impairing violations; that 
          the order is erroneously retroactive to a date prior to his 
          ownership; that the lag between the date of inspection and the 
          issuance date of the order prejudices the owner who was prevented 
          from taking corrective measures sooner; that the items listed in 
          the rent reduction order are minor or cosmetic in nature; and, that 
          the rent reductions are an abuse of discretion.


          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the petition should be denied.

          The Administrator correctly served the prior owner who filed an 
          answer to the complaint.  Section 2527.3 of the Rent Stabilization 
          Code requires that service be made on the person named as the owner 
          in the last filed registration statement, as well as the party 
          specified as the owner on the complaint.  Where a notice of change 
          in identity has been filed, then service must be made on the person 
          named as owner in such notice.  Notice served in this manner shall 
          constitute notice to the person who is then the owner. The 
          registration filed with this Division as of April 1, 1988 indicates 
          D.& E. Eshaghian as the owner of the premises.  The owner's 
          response to the Division's notice is dated June 20, 1988, which 
          according to the petitioner is after the date the petitioner 
          assumed ownership.  Division records reveal no notice of the change 
          of ownerships prior to the filing of the registration of April 1, 

          The Administrator correctly set the effective date of the order as 
          of June 1, 1988, for the rent stabilized tenants.  The effective 
          date is the first day of the month following service on the owner 
          of the tenant's complaint.  The Administrator served the tenants' 
          complaint on the owner on May 20, 1988.  In addition, rent 
          reductions based on service decreases are not allocated between a 
          current and a former owner.  The current owner is liable for the 
          entire retroactive amount, notwithstanding it did not own the 
          building during all or part of the retroactive period.

          Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code provides in pertinent 
          part that a tenant may apply to the Division for a reduction of the 
          legal regulated rent to the level in effect prior to the most 
          recent guidelines adjustment, and the Division shall so reduce the 
          rent for the period for which it is found that the owner failed to 
          maintain required services.  Required services are defined in 
          Section 2520.6 (r) and, in relevant part include repairs, decorat- 
          ing and maintenance, the furnishing of light, heat, hot and cold 
          water, elevator services, janitorial services and removal of 

          A parallel provision applicable to the rent controlled tenants is  
          Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations which 
          similarly provides in pertinent part, that if the landlord fails to 
          maintain services, the Administrator may order a decrease in the 
          maximum rent in an amount which the Administrator in his discretion 
          may determine.

          In the instant case, the evidence of record, which includes the 
          results of the physical inspection conducted at the subject 


          premises, reveals that the landlord failed to maintain services.  

          Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Rent Administrator's 
          determination that the landlord had failed to maintain services was 
          warranted and that the Administrator properly reduced the tenants' 

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the City Rent Law, the Rent and 
          Eviction Regulations, the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and the 
          Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, it is

          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
                                                    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER


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