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.: DJ110357RO
JEFFAL REALTY CO. RENT
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On October 12, 1989 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued on September 7, 1989. The order concerned the
housing accommodations known as Apt. 1G located at 47-51 40th
Street, Sunnyside, N.Y. The Administrator directed restoration of
services and ordered a rent reduction for failure to maintain
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully
considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this
The tenant commenced this proceeding on April 17, 1989 by
filing a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services wherein she
stated, in sum, that the owner was not maintaining certain required
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded
an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on August 10,
1989 and stated, in sum, that all required repairs had been
The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject
apartment. The inspection was conducted on August 16, 1989 and
revealed the following:
1. Defective flushometer,
2. Kitchen wall located near stove vent is bulging,
3. Bathroom faucets are difficult to turn on and off,
4. Kitchen hot water increases when toilet is flushed.
All other services complained of were found to have been
The Administrator issued the order being appealed on September
7, 1989 and ordered a rent reduction of an amount equal to the
percentage of the most recent guidelines adjustment for the lease
commencing prior to May 1, 1989.
On appeal the owner states that it was denied due process when
it was not given notice of the inspection or provided with a copy
of the inspector's report. The owner further argues that the order
being appealed is defective because the findings are factually
inaccurate, are too trivial to warrant a rent reduction or are
based on conditions not complained of. The petition was served on
the tenant on December 29, 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 being appealed should be affirmed as modified
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the DHCR for a rent reduction based on the
owner's failure to maintain services and the rent shall be reduced
if the Administrator finds that such services have been reduced.
The Code defines required services to be those services required to
be maintained on the base date and include repairs and maintenance.
The owner's argument that it was entitled to notice of the
inspection and a copy of the inspector's report is without merit.
Numerous prior orders of the Commissioner have held that the filing
of the complaint puts the owner on notice of the existence of the
conditions and the need to investigate and make repairs. The owner
is not entitled to notice of the inspection, a right to be present
during the inspection or a copy of the inspector's report. The
courts have upheld this policy (see Empress Garden Apts. v. DHCR
538 N.Y.S.2d 49 [2nd Dept., 1989]).
With regard to the owner's argument that the Administrator
made findings regarding conditions not cited in the complaint, the
Commissioner finds that the tenant never cited a bulging kitchen
wall in the instant complaint. Since the owner was not on notice
of this condition, due process considerations require revocation of
The Commissioner determines, with regard to all issues except
the bulging kitchen wall, that the Administrator properly based
this determination on the entire record including the results of
the physical inspection described above. The owner's arguments
regarding factual inaccuracies and conditions too trivial to
warrant a rent reductions are without merit.
Therefore, the Commissioner finds that the order being
appealed should be modified to delete the finding regarding the
bulging wall. The order is affirmed as so modified.
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement which
resulted from the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance
of this order and opinion. The Commissioner notes that the owner's
rent restoration application (Docket No. DJ110038OR) has been
granted by the Administrator.
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.
LULA M. ANDERSON