DH430288RT
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433





          ------------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE          ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                                    DOCKET NO.:
                                                       DH430288RT
                                                       DF430287RT
                                                       CL430003RO
                                                       CA430171RT
               Various Tenants, Petitioner-tenants

               and

               1689 Associates, Petitioner-owner
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.:
                                                       CK430129OR
                                                       CL430062OR
                                                       CA420065RP
                                                       BD430147OR

          ------------------------------------x

             ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING, IN PART, TENANTS' PETITION FOR
              ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PER DH430288RT, DENYING OWNER'S AND
                  TENANTS' PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PER 
                 CL430003R0 AND CA430171RT, AND DISMISSING TENANTS'
                 PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PER DF430287RT 

          The above-named owner and tenants filed various timely petitions 
          for administrative review of orders issued by the Rent 
          Administrator concerning the housing accommodations known as 1689 
          First Avenue, New York, New York, wherein  the Rent Administrator 
          determined the tenants' complaints of various decreased building- 
          wide services and the owner's corresponding rent restoration 
          applications.

          The administrative appeals have been consolidated for disposition 
          as they involve related issues of law and fact.  




          In 1984, the DHCR granted the owner's major capital improvement 
          (MCI) application per LCS000321OM for the installation of "security 












          DH430288RT

          system" consisting of a vestibule intercom system and two new front 
          entrance doors, an outer door and an inner vestibule door.  After 
          a review of the record from Docket No. LCS000321OM, it does not 
          appear that the cost of the front entrance door lock was included 
          in the MCI rent increase application. The owner subsequently 
          removed the lock on the outer door asserting that the City Fire 
          Department had issued a violation for the locked outer door.

          Subsequently, the Rent Administrator issued rent reduction orders 
          determining tenants' complaints of, among other things, that the 
          owner had removed the lock from the outer front door, as more fully 
          set forth below.

          On November 29, 1985, the Rent Administrator determined the 
          tenants' complaint  under U000852B and reduced the tenants' rent 
          based on a finding that the owner had removed the lock from the 
          outer door and replaced it with a dummy lock, and that mailbox 
          equipment was defective.  The owner filed a rent restoration 
          application processed under AJ430092OR, which was granted on 
          September 9, 1987, and which was affirmed upon administrative 
          review per BI410291RT.  For rent stabilized tenants, this rent 
          reduction was in effect from January 1, 1985 to October 30, 1986.  
          For rent controlled tenants, the rent reduction was in effect from 
          December 1, 1985 to September 30, 1987.  Notwithstanding any other 
          findings herein, these determinations were final and are not 
          subject to modification or revocation.

          On August 20, 1986 the Rent Administrator issued an order in the 
          separate tenants' complaint proceeding under LC000477B, wherein the 
          Rent Administrator reduced the tenants' rent based on findings of 
          the owner's failure to:  repair a defective vestibule inner door, 
          to install a lock on the front outer door, to correct a defective 
          basement door and to replace a backyard fence.  Both the owner and 
          the tenants sought administrative review per ART13498L and 
          ARL13171L.  Pursuant to the administrative appeals, the Rent 
          Administrator's order under LC000477B was modified to the extent of 
          deleting that the "front door has no lock" as a basis for the rent 
          reduction on the grounds that it was duplicative of U000852B, and 
          changing the effective date of the rent reduction for rent 
          stabilized tenants to read October 1, 1985 rather than October 1, 
          1986.  In addition, the proceedings were remanded to the Rent 
          Administrator for the sole purpose of determining and ordering a 
          monetary amount for the rent reduction for the rent controlled 
          tenants, which had been inadvertently omitted.




          During the pendency of the above noted proceedings on remand 
          assigned CA420065RP, the owner applied for rent restoration 
          predicated on the restoration of services.  On December 31, 1987, 
          the Rent Administrator issued an order under BD430147OR, partially 






          DH430288RT

          restoring, prospectively, the controlled rent previously reduced 
          per LC000477B, finding that the vestibule door and basement doors 
          were in good condition; but otherwise denying rent restoration for 
          rent controlled and rent stabilized tenants based on findings that 
          the backyard fence was missing.  Although the Rent Administrator  
          found that the lock on the front outer door was not working, this 
          condition had been deleted per ARL13171L as a basis for a rent 
          reduction  on the grounds that it was duplicative.  The tenants 
          filed a petition for administrative review CA430171RT, seeking to 
          reverse the partial rent restoration granted.

          In the Order Pursuant to Remand CA420065RP, dated October 27, 1988, 
          the Rent Administrator reiterated the Commissioner's findings 
          deleting the missing front door lock condition finding it 
          duplicative of U000852B, and amending the effective date of the 
          rent reduction for rent stabilized tenants from October 1, 1986 to 
          October 1, 1985.  As directed by the Commissioner, the Rent 
          Administrator established a specific monetary ($12.00) rent 
          reduction effective September 1, 1986, for rent controlled tenants, 
          which had been inadvertently omitted from the rent reduction order 
          under LC000477B for the three remaining conditions.  The owner 
          filed a petition for administrative review assigned, CL430003RO, 
          seeking to revoke the rent reductions.

          The owner also reapplied for rent restoration of the remaining rent 
          reduction for the missing backyard fence, which was not restored 
          under BD430147OR.  On July 10, 1989, the Rent Administrator issued 
          an order under CK430129OR granting the owner's request for full 
          restoration of the rent reduced per U000852B for the missing front 
          door lock and defective mailboxes and per LC000477B (as amended by 
          CA420065RP) for the missing backyard fence and defective vestibule 
          and basement doors.  The tenants filed a petition for 
          administrative review assigned DH430288RT seeking to revoke the 
          rent restoration.

          Other rent restoration proceedings, assigned CL430062OR for 
          processing, were terminated as duplicative of then pending rent 
          restoration proceedings under CK430129OR.  The tenants filed a 
          petition for administrative review, assigned DF430287RT, seeking an 
          explanation for terminating these proceedings without any 
          substantive findings. 

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the tenants' petition per DH430288RT should be granted, in 
          part, as more fully set forth below, that the owner's petition per 
          CL430003RO should be denied, that the tenants' petition per 
          CA430171RT should be denied, and that the tenants' petition for 
          administrative review per DF430287RT should be dismissed.

          The tenants' petition for administrative review per CA430171RT 
          requests clarification of the effective dates of the rent reduction 
          under LC000477B as well as reversal of the partial rent 












          DH430288RT

          restoration.  As a result of the Rent Administrator's 
          determinations under BD430147OR and CA420065RP, rent controlled 
          tenants were entitled to a $12.00 rent reduction for the period 
          from September 1, 1986 through December 31, 1987 for defective 
          vestibule and basement doors and a missing backyard fence.  The 
          rent controlled rent reduction was reduced to $4.00 per month after 
          December 31, 1987.  The rent stabilized rent reduction effective 
          October 1, 1985 under LC000477B remained in effect because the 
          owner had not yet replaced the missing backyard fence.  As noted 
          above, the defective front door lock was deleted as a predicate for 
          the rent reduction.  The tenants' petition does not establish any 
          basis for modifying the Rent Administrator's findings so as to 
          reinstate this rent reduction.

          Concerning the owner's assertion in its administrative appeal under 
          CL430003RO that it had not been served a copy of the Order Pursuant 
          to Remand under CA420065RP, the Commissioner notes the order was 
          served on the owner of record, albeit the previous owner rather 
          than the petitioner.  Questions the owner raised in this appeal, 
          regarding the determination of the owner's failure to repair a 
          missing backyard fence were settled in the Commissioner's prior 
          order per ARL13171L and ART13498L pertaining to the Rent 
          Administrator's rent reduction order per LC000477B.  Since the 
          owner did not seek judicial review of the Commissioner's 
          determination, the Commissioner's findings became final.  The same 
          Commissioner's order remanded the proceedings to the Rent 
          Administrator for the limited purpose of determining and ordering 
          appropriate rent reductions for the controlled tenants based on the 
          services decreases previously confirmed.  The owner's attempt in 
          the instant appeal of the Order Pursuant to Remand per CA420065RP, 
          to reconsider the substantive findings pertaining to the services 
          decreases, constitutes an impermissible collateral attack of the 
          prior final order per ARL13171L and ART13498L.  Therefore, the 
          owner's petition per CL430003RO is denied.

          With respect to the tenants' petition for administrative review  
          per DH430288RT seeking to reverse the rent restoration order under 
          CK430129OR, the Commissioner finds that it should be granted, in 
          part.  The Rent Administrator granted a retroactive rent 
          restoration to stabilization tenants effective January 1, 1989, 
          which was the first day of the month following service of the 
          owner's application on the tenants, in accordance with the Rent 
          Stabilization Code.  The specific monetary rent restoration for 
          rent controlled tenants reflected the amount of the rent reduction 
          calculated for the rent reduction orders per LC000477B/CA420065RP 
          and U000852B without taking notice that partial rent restoration 
          had already been granted.

          However, as the tenants point out, they already were paying partial 
          rent restoration for the installation of new mailboxes and for a 
          front door lock and for repairs to the vestibule and basement 
          doors.  To the extent that the rent reduced per U000852B and 






          DH430288RT

          LC000477B was previously partially revoked per ARL13171L or 
          restored per AJ430092OR and BD430147OR, the issue of rent 
          restoration for these items was duplicative and moot, and should 
          have been reflected in the rent restoration order per CK430129OR 
          under consideration herein.  

          Concerning the remaining condition, i.e. the backyard fence, the 
          Rent Administrator properly relied on the inspector's observation, 
          that the owner had also installed a replacement backyard fence, to 
          conclude that the equipment was adequate, and warranted the 
          remaining rent restoration for rent controlled tenants ($4.00), and 
          restoration of rent for stabilized tenants, of the rent reduced per 
          LC000477B since October 1, 1985.  The Commissioner deems it 
          appropriate to rely on the impartial observations of the DHCR 
          employee rather than the contentions of a party to the proceedings.  
          The further contention that the order was not properly identified 
          is without merit and belied by the file copy which shows the 
          restoration docket number and related dockets clearly set forth in 
          the order.

          Concerning the issue of the front door lock, reflected in several 
          of the Rent Administrator's orders below and raised in the tenant's 
          petitions, the Commissioner notes that notwithstanding the fact 
          there were inconsistent, and sometimes conflicting findings in the 
          rent reduction and rent restoration orders, and the order on 
          remand, the rent reduction granted in LC000477B for this condition, 
          in fact, was ultimately entirely revoked, albeit on the grounds 
          that it was duplicative.  The tenants' request that the reduction 
          for the defective front door lock be reinstated, in whole or in 
          part, is rejected on the further ground that it was not warranted 
          in the first instance.  The Commissioner notes that Section 25-121, 
          Title 28, Rules of the City of New York (cite as 28RCNY25-121), 
          relating to entrance door locks and intercommunication systems, 
          provides, in relevant part, that:

               (c)  Where an entrance door leading from a vestibule to 
               the main entrance hall or lobby is equipped with one or 
               more automatic self-closing and self-locking doors, the 
               entrance door from the street to the vestibule need not 
               be equipped with automatic self-closing and self-locking 
               doors.

               (d)  Every entrance from the street, yard or cellar to a 
               class A multiple dwelling erected or converted after 
               January 1, 1968 containing eight or more apartments shall 
               be equipped with automatic self-closing and self-locking 
               doors.  Such multiple dwelling, as aforesaid, shall also 
               be equipped with an intercommunication system to be 
               located at the required main entrance doors.


               (e)  On or after January 1, 1969, every entrance from the 












          DH430288RT

               street, court, yard or cellar to a class A multiple 
               dwelling erected or converted prior to January 1, 1968 
               containing eight or more apartments, provided that a 
               majority of tenants in occupancy request or consent in 
               writing, shall be equipped with automatic self-closing 
               and self-locking doors and shall also be equipped with an 
               intercommunication system.

               (f)  Every self-locking door required under this section 
               shall be installed and maintained so as to be readily 
               operable from the inside without the use of keys.

               (g)  The minimal devices acceptable for the 
               intercommunication system shall be a bell or buzzer 
               system, or a speaking and listening device to permit 
               communication by voice between the occupant of each 
               apartment and a person outside such required main 
               entrance door, and a return buzzer mechanism to release 
               or open the lock to the aforesaid required door.

               (h)  The bell and intercommunication system shall be 
               located at the required main entrance door so that a 
               person may readily reach the door when the unlocking 
               buzzer is activated.

               i)  No push button device shall be more than six feet 
               from the floor and the speaking and listening device 
               shall be installed to be not less than four feet and not 
               more than five feet from the floor.

               (j)  The device or devices for the intercommunication 
               system installed in the apartment shall be readily 
               accessible to the occupant.          

          Per 28RCNY25-121 cited above, the owner is not required to install 
          a front door lock if the vestibule door is properly secured, self- 
          closing and self locking, and is not required to place the intercom 
          panel outside the building's front entrance door.  
              

          As indicated herein, the rent restoration proceedings per 
          CL430062OR were terminated as duplicative of then pending rent 
          restoration proceedings per CK430129OR.  The tenants' petition for 
          administrative review per DF430287RT seeks an explanation for 
          terminating these proceedings without any substantive findings.  
          The petition is dismissed for failure to state a cause of action as 
          it fails to allege any error of law or fact or to establish how the 
          tenants were prejudiced since there were pending rent restoration 
          proceedings.  The Rent Administrator properly terminated the 
          proceedings as duplicative of CK430129OR.

          If rent arrears are due the owner from any tenant as a result of 






          DH430288RT

          this order, arrears may be paid by the tenant in equal monthly 
          installments at the amount of the underlying monthly rent 
          reduction.  If, on the other hand, the tenant paid excess rent, it 
          shall be credited to the tenant, in full, commencing with the 
          rental payment immediately following the issuance of this order.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
          the City Rent Law and the Rent and Eviction Regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that the tenants' petition for administrative review 
          DH430288RT be granted in part, and that the Rent Administrator's 
          order CK430129OR be amended to reflect that rent restoration for 
          the vestibule and basement doors, mailboxes and front outer door 
          lock was duplicative, by reason of prior rent restoration orders 
          AJ430092OR and BD430147OR.  The Rent Administrator's order 
          CK430129OR is affirmed as to the rent restoration for the backyard 
          fence.  It is further 

          ORDERED, that the owner's and the tenants' petitions for 
          administrative review per CL430003RO and CA430171RT be denied, and 
          that the Rent Administrator's orders per CK430129OR and BD430147OR 
          be affirmed as provided above.  It is further

          ORDERED, that the tenants' petition for administrative review per 
          DF430287RT be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action.



          ISSUED:




                                                                     
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner  






    

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