STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433

          APPEAL OF                                    DOCKET NO.: DL110249RO

               Northern Star Realty,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.: CI110414S


          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review of an order issued on November 1, 1989, concerning the 
          housing accommodations known as 147-25 Northern Boulevard, 
          Apartment 3S, Queens, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator 
          determined the tenant's complaint of decreased 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 certain services in 
          the subject apartment.  The complaint was served on the owner on 
          October 6, 1988.

          In an answer dated October 7, 1988, the owner asserts that the 
          complaint served by the DHCR was the first notice the owner had of 
          the conditions and advised that he was prepared to correct the 

          An inspection of the subject apartment was conducted on October 19, 
          1989.  The inspector reported that the apartment required painting, 
          that a bathroom window was hard to close, that the cabinet under 
          the kitchen sink was damp but not rotted, that the kitchen wall 
          over the sink had minor cracks, and that bathroom wall tiles were 
          loose, broken or missing.  Other complaints were not substantiated.

          The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services and 
          further, ordered a reduction of the stabilization rent.


          In its petition for administrative review, the owner states, in 
          substance, that the window, kitchen wall and bathroom tile 
          conditions were minor items not warranting a rent reduction.  In 
          addition the owner suggests that the defective tiles and dampness 
          under the kitchen sink were tenant induced conditions, and that the 
          mere fact of dampness under the kitchen sink, without specifying a 
          source, did not establish a services decrease.  A copy of the 
          owner's administrative appeal was served on the tenant.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the petition should be granted, in part, as more fully set 
          forth below.

          The Commissioner concurs that the finding of dampness in the 
          cabinet under the sink does not constitute a services decrease 
          absent e.g., additional facts to establish the cause for the 
          dampness, defective plumbing, or that the kitchen sink area had 
          been damaged.  It is noted that the inspector did not confirm the 
          tenant's complaint that the sink cabinet was rotted.

          However, the owner does not establish any other basis for modifying 
          or revoking the Rent Administrator's order which determined that 
          the owner was not maintaining required services based on a physical 
          inspection confirming the existence of defective conditions in the 
          subject apartment for which a rent reduction is warranted.

          The Commissioner rejects the owner's argument that the complaints 
          were minor.  Rent reductions are normally granted by the DHCR for 
          the conditions confirmed below, and have been affirmed by the 
          Courts:  Hyde Park Gardens v. DHCR, 140 A.D.2d 351, 527 N.Y.S.2d 
          841 (2nd Dept. 1988), affd. 73 N.Y.2d 998, 541 N.Y.S.2d 345 (1989).

          An examination of DHCR records also reveals that the Rent 
          Administrator issued an order on October 14, 1993, under GC110235OR 
          restoring the tenant's rent to the pre-reduction level plus lawful 

          The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted 
          by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this 
          order and opinion.

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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted, in 


          part to the extent of revoking the dampness under the kitchen sink 
          as a predicate for the rent reduction.  In all other respects, the 
          Rent Administrator's order is affirmed.



                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner  


TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name