STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.:
TWO MARION REALTY CO.,
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On July 12, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition
for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on June 7, 1989,
by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommodations
known as various apartments at 2557 Marion Avenue, Bronx, New York,
wherein the Administrator determined that the owner was not
maintaining adequate hot water service, directed restoration of
such service, and ordered rent reductions for rent stabilized and
rent controlled tenants.
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issue raised by the administrative appeal.
The record reveals that 38 tenants of the 54 apartments in the
subject building joined in filing a Statement of Complaint of a
Decrease in Building-Wide Services on January 24, 1989. The
tenants alleged in the complaint that the elevator is constantly
out of order, heat and hot water services are often interrupted
without explanation, the public areas are not cleaned properly, and
the trash compactors are not emptied often enough.
In accordance with DHCR procedures, the heat and hot water aspect
of the complaint was given a separate docket number and processed
on an expedited basis.
The complaint was sent to the owner on February 28, 1989 with a
notice explaining that the tenants had alleged a failure to provide
heat and/or hot water.
The owner filed an answer on April 4, 1989, in which every aspect
of the complaint was addressed except the heat and hot water
A physical inspection of the premises by the Division of Housing
and Community Renewal (DHCR) took place on April 28, 1989 when the
outside temperature was 72@ and heat was not required. The
inspector was able to gain access to 23 apartments and found that
the hot water temperature was inadequate in apartments on the third
floor and above.
Based on this inspection, the Rent Administrator issued the orders
appealed herein, reducing the rent to the level in effect prior to
the most recent guidelines adjustment for all stabilized tenants on
the third floor and above who joined in the complaint and by 7«% of
the maximum legal collectible rent for all rent controlled tenants
on the third floor and above. No rent reduction was ordered for
tenants on the first and second floors.
In the petition for administrative review, the owner, through
counsel asserts that the owner was never served with a copy of the
tenants' complaint regarding inadequate heat and hot water. The
petitioner also alleges that there are errors in the status of
tenants listed for certain apartments in the order, that some
tenants who were granted a rent reduction admit never filing a
complaint, that the owner did receive a complaint signed by various
tenants but it did not mention heat and hot water, and that this
complaint did not contain a request for a rent reduction.
The petition was served on the tenants on November 23, 1989.
Several tenants submitted answers stating in relevant part that
heat and hot water services continue to be provided on a sporadic
After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted
The owner's claim that it was not served with the complaint is
belied by the evidence of record which reveals that the complaint
was sent to the owner, that it was specifically described as a
complaint regarding inadequate heat and hot water, that the owner
admits receiving a complaint with the allegations on it that were
on the same complaint with the heat and hot water complaint, and
that the owner filed an answer to the complaint.
The owner is correct, however, that no request for a rent reduction
was made by the tenants. In the absence of such a request, a rent
reduction for rent stabilized tenants is not warranted pursuant to
Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code and must be revoked.
For rent controlled tenants, however, Section 2202.16 of the Rent
and Eviction Regulations authorizes a rent reduction, where there
has been a decrease in essential services, in an amount which the
Administrator finds to be the reduction in rental value of the
housing accommodations because of the decreased services. It is
not necessary that rent controlled tenants request a rent reduction
or even join in signing the complaint. A complaint by one rent
controlled tenant regarding building-wide services results in a
rent reduction for all rent controlled apartments in the building.
The owner's allegations regarding the status of certain apartments
are without merit. The Division's records confirm that the
Administrator's order correctly identified rent controlled and rent
stabilized apartments. However, one tenant, Judy Faucette, is
incorrectly identified as occupying Apartment 3-D, rather than 3-E.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in
part and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
modified to revoke the rent reduction for rent stabilized tenants.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA