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.: DG130276RO
DOCKET NO.: CJ130082B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On July 31, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition
for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on June 26,
1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 148-48 88th Avenue, Jamaica, N.Y., Apt. 1-G,
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 of 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 based upon a diminution in
On October 27, 1988, seventy-two tenants in this 96 unit building
joined in filing a building-wide services complaint alleging that
the owner failed to maintain services. Specifically, the tenants
stated that heat and hot water services are sporadic, that the
incinerator has been the cause of recent fires, that elevator
service is frequently unavailable, that the intercom is defective,
that the front of the building is unsafe because there are no
lights, that the tenants cannot use the garage because there are
violations, and that trespassers are allowed to roam the building
because there is no security.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint, on November 11, 1988,
alleging that most of the services specified in the complaint were
either being provided or were in the process of being corrected.
With respect to the garage, however, the owner stated that due to
vandalism and dangerous conditions related to loitering and drug-
related incidents, the owner chose not to use the garage.
A DHCR inspection conducted on April 28, 1989, revealed that
although the owner restored a number of services, the owner failed
to correct the following services:
1. The intercom system is inaudible.
2. The building entrance lighting is defective.
3. The use of the garage has been discontinued.
Based on the inspection results, the Rent Administrator issued an
order reducing the rent of all stabilized tenants in the building
who signed the complaint. The petitioner-owner is appealing the
order issued for Apt. 1G only and asserts, in pertinent part, that
all services in the building are being maintained and that the
items specified in the rent reduction order were de minimis items
not worthy of a rent reduction.
The petition was served on the tenant on October 30, 1989, and on
December 6, 1989, the tenant filed an answer to the petition
stating that the owner was not maintaining services.
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 a 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) of the Rent
Stabilization Code as that space and those services the owner was
maintaining or was required to maintain on the applicable base
A review of the record before the Commissioner clearly shows that
the owner did not submit any evidence that the deficiencies noted
in the inspection of April 28, 1989, had been corrected.
The record reveals that the owner had ample opportunity to make all
repairs in a workmanlike manner, but had failed to do so before the
issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
The Commissioner has also considered and rejects petitioner's
claims on appeal that the conditions found below are minor in
nature and not rent-reducing items. A defective intercom system
and defective building entrance lighting are service deficiencies
worthy of the owner's attention. Garage use is also a base date
service that the owner may not unilaterally discontinue.
The Commissioner further finds that the Administrator properly
based his determination on the entire record, including the results
of the on-site physical inspection conducted on April 28, 1989, and
that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the rent reductions
ordered by the Administrator, based on a determination that the
owner had failed to maintain services, were warranted.
Accordingly, the Commissioner also finds that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's
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
a rent restoration.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied, and Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA