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.: DJ210132RO
(Refile of DH230140RO)
DOCKET NO.: CJ230068B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed and perfected a timely petition for
administrative review of an order issued on July 13, 1989
concerning the housing accommodations known as 7913 Bay Parkway,
Brooklyn, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined the
tenants' complaint of decreased building-wide services.
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the petition.
The tenants commenced this proceeding by filing a complaint
asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain services in
the subject building.
In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in the
complaint or otherwise asserted that all required repairs had been
or will be completed. The owner further asserted that many
conditions recur due to vandalism or improper use by the tenants.
Thereafter, an inspection of the subject apartment was conducted by
a DHCR inspector who confirmed the existence of several of the
defective conditions. The inspector reported missing front
entrance door locks, peeling plaster in the public area south wing,
dirty public area hallways and stairwells, a defective intercom
system, a hole between the lobby wall and the riser pipe, and
cracked and missing glass panes throughout the basement windows.
The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services and
further, ordered a reduction of stabilized and controlled rents.
As the status of the subject premises was not known, the tenants
were advised to abide by the rent control or rent stabilization
provisions applicable to his or her case.
In the petition for administrative review, the owner reiterates
allegations that the intercom system and front door lock defects,
corrected prior to the inspection, recurred as a result of abuse or
misuse of equipment by the tenants.
The owner also argues that the finding of peeling paint and plaster
in one area and that public areas were dirty is inconsistent with
another portion of the order where it was determined that public
area hallways had been plastered and painted. The owner further
argues that the conditions found should have been considered new
items that did not relate to the conditions previously corrected.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is
required to order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant,
where it is found that the owner has failed to maintain required
services. Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction
Regulations, the DHCR may order rent reduction where it is found
the owner has failed to maintain essential services or space,
furniture furnishings or equipment. Essential services may
include, but are not limited to repairs, painting and maintenance.
The owner's petition does not establish any basis for modifying or
revoking the Rent Administrator's order which determined that the
owner was not maintaining required or essential services based on
a physical inspection confirming the existence of defective
conditions in the subject premises for which a rent reduction is
The owner's claim that the abuse or misuse caused defects in
equipment previously repaired ignores the owner's obligation to
make repairs promptly, and neither excuses nor exculpates the owner
for failing to correct defects if they recur.
The owner's argument alleging inconsistencies in the rent reduction
order are without merit. The inspection that confirmed the owner's
claim of paint and plaster repairs also established that a
defective condition in one area remained to be corrected. The
finding that the public hallways and stairwells were dirty is not
related to findings addressing paint and plaster repairs.
Moreover, the maintenance, cleaning and janitorial services
provided appear to be inadequate, as confirmed by the inspection.
The Commissioner also notes that a DHCR inspector is an impartial
agency employee, and not an adversary to either the owner or the
tenant. The report of his observations was properly placed in the
record for the Rent Administrator's consideration, and was entitled
to, and afforded, great weight.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Code, and the Rent
and Eviction Regulations for the City of New York, 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,
LULA M. ANDERSON