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.: DF230307RO
DOCKET NO.: CG230112B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 30, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition
for administrative review of an order issued on May 25, 1989 by the
Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommodation known as
4750 Bedford Avenue, various apartments, Brooklyn, New York,
wherein the Administrator determined the specific services the
owner had failed to maintain, reduced the rent, and directed the
owner to restore the services.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issue raised by the administrative appeal.
This proceeding was commenced by the filing of a complaint of
multiple decreases in services by various tenants dated July 26,
1988. The owner was served with a copy of the tenants' complaint
and filed an answer either denying the complained of conditions or
otherwise asserting that they had been remedied.
An inspection conducted by a DHCR staff inspector on March 21, 1989
revealed leak damage and crumbling plaster of the vestibule and
lobby ceiling and walls, cracked and stained plaster of the top
floor ceiling near front elevator, various public area floors in
need of mopping, and evidence of roach infestation in the
incinerator rooms. In addition, the inspector found that the
intercom system, while operable, required a volume adjustment.
The Administrator's order issued on May 25, 1989 cited the
following conditions: inadequate janitorial service in laundry
room, stairwells, and elevator; roach infestation in incinerator
rooms; adjustment needed to intercom; peeling paint and plaster in
hallways; and leak damaged walls and ceiling in vestibule.
In the PAR, the owner contends that it was denied due process in
that it was not notified of the results of inspection, that the
inspection findings are either inaccurate, de minimis, or were
conditions not originally complained of. Specifically, the owner
asserts that the water seepage complained of related to individual
apartments and not common areas, and that the lobby and vestibule
condition is caused by steam escaping from corroded steam return
lines and has nothing to do with water seepage. The owner advises,
in this regard, that the lobby plaster work was completed on
February 16, 1989, before the Division's inspection, and that one
week after inspection the lobby was painted.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be denied.
The Commissioner rejects the owner's claim of denial of due process
in not having been apprised of the results of the Division's
inspection. There is no requirement that this Division forward
copies of its inspection reports to the parties affected. The
owner was given appropriate notice and an opportunity to respond
when it was served with a copy of the tenants' complaint.
The owner's claim of no notice is disingenuous inasmuch as it now
alleges that necessary repairs were made even before this Division
conducted its inspection.
As for the allegation that the water seepage complained of related
only to individual apartments and not to common areas, the
Commissioner notes that the tenants' complaint stated that there
were exterior leaks including specific apartments. (Emphasis
Added.) The complaint gave adequate notice to the owner to
investigate all apparent leaks in the building and not only those
in the apartments listed.
The Commissioner also rejects the owner's defense that the lobby
and vestibule condition is not caused by exterior leaks and
therefore does not fall within the ambit of the complaint. The
Commissioner finds that it makes no difference how the damage was
caused. The tenants are not expected to know the root cause of a
concealed leak. Nevertheless, the owner has the duty to
investigate all possible causes for the condition and to make
THEREFORE, in accordance with 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