Adm. Rev. Docket No.: EB 210305-RO
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.: EB 210305-RO
MARTIN KIRZNER, DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
DOCKET NO.: CL 230050-B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On December 26, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on
November 27, 1989, by the Rent Administrator of the Gertz Plaza
District Rent Office concerning the housing accommodations known as
9302 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, New York, Apartment No. E, wherein the
Administrator reduced the tenant's rent based on a finding of a
building-wide reduction of services.
On February 21, 1990 the Commissioner rejected the owner's PAR for
procedural reasons without prejudice to refile properly in a timely
manner. The owner prefected the appeal on February 24, 1990.
The issue in this proceeding is whether the Administrator's
determination was proper.
The tenant commenced these proceedings on December 1, 1988 by filing
a complaint alleging a decrease in various services. Specifically,
the tenant complained that the elevator failed to work periodically;
that his stove needed to be replaced; that the owner had refused to
repair leak damage to his bathroom; that the ceiling and walls were
cracked; that the apartment door need to be repaired or replaced;
that the apartment required painting; and that there was water
seepage when it rained.
On January 17, 1989, the owner responded that the elevator was in
service and that maintenance problems are addressed promptly by its
elevator contractor; that the tenant's stove was replaced with a
used stove in good condition; that leaks were repaired; that a new
door had been ordered for the tenant's apartment and would be
installed upon delivery; that the bathroom repairs had been
scheduled; and that the tenant should contact the owner to schedule
an appointment to paint the apartment.
A inspection was conducted on October 10, 1989 to check the
building-wide conditions reported. The inspector confirmed that the
bulkhead and second floor ceiling and walls and that the third,
fifth and sixth floor ceilings had peeling paint and plaster. The
inspector also reported that building door lock and elevator were in
good working order.
The Administrator's orders entertained only t e tenant's building-
wide complaint and did not address the individual apartment
Adm. Rev. Docket No.: EB 210305-RO
complaints. Based on the building-wide service reductions reported
by the inspector, the Administrator granted the tenant's request for
a rent reduction. As the rent regulated status of the subject unit
was not known, the tenant was advised to abide by the portion of the
order (Rent Control Law or Rent Stabilization Law) applicable to his
In the petition, the owner requests that the Administrator's order
be reversed on the ground that it was not aware of the tenant's
complaint about the public areas because the tenant's language was
not coherent. As evidence of its good faith, the owner points out
that it corrected the tenant's individual apartment complaint and
that the owner's answer below as silent as to the conditions
providing the basis for the rent reductions.
After careful consideration the Commissioner is of the opinion that
the petition should be denied.
The tenant complained below of water seepage into the building when
there was rain. Peeling paint and plaster is a foreseeable and a
direct consequence of water seepage, whether from exterior sources
such as rain, or from an interior source such as plumbing leaks.
The tenant's complaint gave adequate notice that a problem existed.
The owner's silence as to the natural consequences of the conditions
reported, did not excuse the owner from addressing the condition,
or, at a minimum, to seek clarification from the tenant or from the
Division. In addition, the owner at PAR does not deny the existence
of the condition and does not address whether the problem has been
For all these reasons the rent reduction was warranted.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provision of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, Chapter 403 of the Law and 1983, and
Chapter 403 of the Law of 1983, and Chapter 102 of the Laws of 1984,
ORDERED, that this owner's petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied, and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby