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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: DF130255RO
          NORTHERN STAR REALTY CO.                RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: CI130059B


               On June 30, 1989 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued June 7, 1989. The order concerned various 
          housing accommodations located at 147-25 Northern Blvd., Flushing, 
          N.Y.  The Administrator directed restoration of services and 
          ordered a rent reduction for failure to maintain required services.  

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 

               This proceeding was commenced on September 27,1988 when one 
          tenant filed a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide 
          Services and alleged, in sum, that the owner was not maintaining 
          certain required building services.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on October 
          15, 1988 and stated, in sum, that it was maintaining required 
          building services or that it had investigated the tenant's 
          complaint and made the required repairs.
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          building.  The inspection was conducted on April 18, 1989 and 
          revealed the following:

                    1.   Building is roach infested,

                    2.   Inadequate janitorial services; dirty incinerators, 
                         hallways, stairwells, stair halls, courtyard and 
                         accumulation of garbage,


                    3.   Defective elevator in that it operates slowly and 
                         in a jerky manner and there is no mirror,

                    4.   Defective intercom, cannot hear clearly.

          All other services were found to have been maintained.

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on June 
          7, 1989 and ordered a rent reduction based on the inspector's 

               On appeal the owner states that the building is cleaned by the 
          janitorial staff on a regular basis, that the elevator is serviced 
          by a repair company when required, that there is a mirror in the 
          elevator, that exterminator services are available to the tenant 
          and that the intercoms have been repaired.  The petition was served 
          on the tenant on September 25, 1989.

               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted 
          in part and the order here under review should be affirmed as 
          modified herein.

               Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, a 
          tenant may apply to the Administrator for a rent reduction based on 
          the fact that the owner has not maintained required services and 
          the Administrator is required to reduce the rent if it is found 
          that such services have not been maintained.  Pursuant to Section 
          2520.6 (r) of the Code, required services are defined as those 
          services the owner was required to provide on the applicable base 
          date including repairs and maintenance.

               With regard to all findings except the defective elevator and 
          missing mirror, the Commissioner finds that the above described on- 
          site physical inspection, carried out by a DHCR employee who is 
          neither a party to the proceeding nor an adversary, is dispositive.  
          The owner has not rebutted the report.  The Commissioner affirms 
          these findings.

               With regard to the issue of the elevator, the Commissioner 
          acknowledges that enforcement of applicable standards regarding 
          elevator operation and safety is under the jurisdiction of the New 
          York City Department of Buildings, which has long established, 
          comprehensive procedures and inspection programs in place.  The 
          staff engaged in carrying out these programs has the necessary 
          technical expertise to conduct periodic inspections; to interpret 
          and apply relevant codes, regulations and industry standards and to 
          issue violations. Further, in view of the City's greater experience 
          with elevator enforcement, the City is in a better position than 
          the DHCR to determine appropriate performance standards and 
          ancillary equipment for elevators of varying age and manufacture.


               The Commissioner notes that a search of the records of the 
          Department of Buildings has revealed that no violations regarding 
          elevator operation were issued while the complaint was pending 
          before the Administrator.  Therefore, the Commissioner finds that 
          sufficient evidence does not exist to support the Administrator's 
          finding regarding the elevator.  That finding must, therefore, be 

               The Commissioner notes that rent reduction orders for this 
          building, bearing Docket Nos. CL130042B and CL130023B, were issued  
          by the Administrator.  In the case of overlapping rent reduction 
          orders for rent stabilized tenants, the rent is reduced 
          retroactively  by the percentage of the guidelines adjustment to 
          each tenant's lease which commenced before the first date of 
          service on the owner of the tenant's complaint.  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, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it 

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted in part, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and 
          the same hereby is, affirmed as modified herein.


                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner


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