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.:
ERICK LIEBENSTEIN, DOCKET NO.:
35-44 95 St., Apt. 1A
PETITIONER Jackson Heights, NY
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed a timely Petition for Administrative
Review (PAR) of an order issued on October 13, 1989, concerning the
above-described housing accommodations.
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 tenant commenced this proceeding on August 15, 1988, by filing
a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain
services in the subject apartment.
In answer, the owner asserted in substance that all required
repairs were done. Copies of work orders and repair slips,
together with a copy of a court stipulation where the owner agreed
to make certain repairs, were attached.
On September 28, 1989, an inspection of the subject apartment was
conducted by a Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR)
staff member who confirmed the existence of defective conditions.
By an order dated October 13, 1989, the Administrator directed the
restoration of services and ordered a rent reduction.
In this petition, the owner contends in substance that the required
repairs had been done as he had demonstrated in his answer below,
that he never received any further notice of continuing repair
problems after the tenant's initial complaint and so did not have
notice that any additional repairs were needed, that he did not
receive any notice concerning the DHCR physical inspection, and
finally, that the tenant had withdrawn her complaint.
DHCR mailed a copy of the petition to the tenant, who answered,
denying the owner's contentions and stating that not all of the
required repairs were made.
After careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is
authorized to order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant,
where it is found that an owner has failed to maintain required
services. The owner's petition does not establish any basis to
modify or revoke the Administrator's determination based on the
September 28, 1989 inspection which confirmed the existence of
defective conditions, warranting a rent reduction.
The Commissioner notes that all of the documents submitted by the
owner with his answer below, including the work orders and repair
slips, were dated prior to the date the tenant filed her service
complaint and therefore do not in any way refute the findings of
the DHCR physical inspection. Furthermore, the very fact that the
tenant filed her complaint after this work was purportedly done put
the owner on notice that the tenant was having continuing repair
problems. The owner had ample time to rectify these conditions
after receiving notice of the continuing deficiencies. Yet the
inspection reveals that the defective conditions were not remedied.
Concerning the petitioner-owner's argument that the Administrator
failed to give it notice of the inspection or the results, the
Commissioner finds that due process does not require that the owner
be informed that inspections are to take place or that it be sent
copies of the reports with an opportunity to rectify the condition
or to respond. The owner had adequate notice from the tenant's
complaint of conditions requiring its attention. Accordingly, the
owner's contention with respect to this issue is without merit.
Finally, the owner's contention that the tenant had withdrawn the
complaint in the proceeding below is also without merit. A careful
review of the record below reveals that subsequent to filing his
answer, the owner did submit a copy of a letter from the tenant
withdrawing certain complaints. However, contrary to the owner's
claims, the letter submitted does not relate to the service case
hereunder review. The Commissioner notes that this withdrawal
letter is dated June 29, 1988, which predates by approximately six
weeks the date when the tenant filed her complaint, and further-
more, specifically states that it relates to Docket Nos. CE110332R
and CE110407S, which are two distinct and separate cases from the
one which is the subject matter of this proceeding. Therefore,
this letter from the tenant has no bearing on this proceeding.
Division records indicate that the owner filed an application to
restore the rent which was denied on August 15, 1990, under Docket
No. DK110022OR. The owner filed a second rent restoration appli-
cation which was originally denied on March 22,1991, under Docket
No. EI110038OR. However, the owner filed an application for
reconsideration of this denial, which was granted, after a
reinspection, on August 12, 1991, under Docket No. FE110002RK.
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted
from the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this
Order and Opinion.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code
and Operational Bulletin 84-1, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
LULA M. ANDERSON