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.: DK110318RO
(Refile of DJ110028RO)
Kew Gardens Terrace Realty,
DOCKET NO.: CL130038B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING, IN PART, PETITION
FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed and perfected a timely petition for
administrative review of an order issued on August 28, 1989,
concerning the housing accommodations known as 117-14 Union
Turnpike, Queens, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator
determined the tenant's complaint of decreased elevator 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 tenant commenced this proceeding by filing a complaint
asserting that the owner had failed to maintain elevator services
in the subject building. The tenant alleged that the elevator door
did not close properly, and that the elevator did not stop on the
third floor where the tenant's apartment was located.
In an answer dated January 11, 1989, the owner asserted that it had
entered into a contract to have the elevator refurbished, that it
was waiting for the City Department of Buildings (DOB) permit to
commence work and that, in the meantime, the elevator door had been
closed as a safety precaution. A copy of a proposal to refurbish
six elevators throughout the building complex was enclosed.
An inspection was conducted on July 26, 1989 by a DHCR inspector,
who reported that the elevator failed to stop on the third, fourth
and fifth floors.
The Rent Administrator directed a restoration of these services,
and further, ordered a rent reduction pursuant to stabilization
In the petition for administrative review, the owner states that
the elevator had been overhauled per the contract submitted below,
and argues that the order was not valid because the tenant is not
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be granted, in part, as more fully set
The Commissioner notes that the DHCR has the requisite authority to
process tenants' complaints of elevator services decreases. In
addition, the Commissioner acknowledges that enforcement of
applicable standards regarding elevator operation and safety is
under the jurisdiction of the City Department of Buildings, which
has long-established, comprehensive procedures and inspection
programs in place. The staff engaged in carrying out these
programs has the necessary technical expertise to conduct periodic
inspections; to interpret and apply relevant codes, regulations and
industry standards; and to issue violations. Further, in view of
the City's greater experience with elevator enforcement, the City
is in a better position than the DHCR to determine appropriate
performance standards and ancillary equipment for elevators of
varying age and manufacture.
The Commissioner notes that the City Department of Buildings
records reveal several elevator violation reports for the period
between December 15, 1988, the date tenant filed the complaint, and
August 28, 1989, the issue date of the Rent Administrator's order.
The infractions reported include an uncorrected illegal machine
brake and failure to level properly, as well as conditions
characterized as "Miscellaneous" failure to maintain elevator.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that there exists sufficient
evidence to support a determination that elevator services were not
The owner points out correctly that the tenant is not rent
stabilized. An inspection of the agency records confirms that the
tenant is rent controlled. The order is amended to revoke the
reduction under stabilization provisions, and to reflect a rent
reduction pursuant to rent control provisions for an inoperative
elevator, which is a reduction of the tenant's maximum legal rent
by 13% per month, effective on the first rent payment date
following the issue date of the Rent Administrator's order, which
was August 28, 1989.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, and the
City Rent & Eviction Law and Regulations, it is
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 amended.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA