Docket No.:  EB 430088 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433


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          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE    ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: EB 430088-RO 
                                                
             PERRY MANSIONS,                     DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                 DOCKET NO.: DB 430035-B
            
                                PETITIONER     
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            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On February 5, 1990,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition  for  Administrative  Review  against  orders  issued  on
          January 16, 1990,  by  the  Rent  Administrator  at  Gertz  Plaza,
          Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known  as
          220 Waverly  Place,  New  York,  N.Y.  wherein  the  Administrator
          reduced the tenants' rents based on a finding of  a  reduction  of
          building-wide services.

          The issue in these  proceedings  is  whether  the  Administrator's
          orders were proper.

          The applicable law is Section 2202.16 of  the  Rent  and  Eviction
          Regulations  and  Section  2520.6(r)  and  2523.4  of   the   Rent
          Stabilization Code.

          The tenants commenced these proceedings on February 13,  1989,  by
          filing a joint complaint alleging decreases  of  various  building
          wide services.  The tenants complained that heat and hot water was 
          unavailable between 8:00 P.M. and  8:00  A.M.;  that  cleaning  of
          public areas had been sporadic; that the front door lock  was  not
          secure from entry without a key, despite recent repairs; that  the
          roof door lock was secured by a hook and latch device  only;  that
          repairs to the third  floor  stairway  bannister  had  created  an
          unsafe condition; and that there was a loose  step  on  the  third
          floor stairway.

          An inspection conducted on November 6, 1989 by  a  number  of  the
          Division's inspection staff confirmed that the  roof  door  had  a
          hook and eye latch,  which  could  be  opened  from  the  exterior
          because the door was not blumb with the door jamb, leaving a space 
          between the jamb and door.  However the inspection revealed  other
          services to be maintained adequately, in that the  vestibule  door
          lock was secure, the public areas were clean, there was no problem 
          with the third floor bannister, and there was no evidence of loose 
          steps.
          On January 16, 1990,  the  Administrator  issued  orders  reducing
          rents by $6.00 for rent controlled tenants based  on  the  finding
          that the roof door had a hook and eye lock which could  be  opened
          from the exterior due to the space between the door and  the  door
          jamb, and that the roof door was not self-closing.  The rents  for






          Docket No.:  EB 430088 RO

          rent stabilized tenants were reduced by the percentage of the most 
          recent  guidelines  adjustment  for  each  tenant's  lease   which
          commenced before the effective date of the rent reduction, 
          March 1, 1989.

          On appeal, the petitioner argues that the  condition  involving  a
          space between the roof door and the door jamb and lack of a  self-
          closing roof door did not constitute a reduction of service;  that
          the problem was not mentioned in the complaint; and that the owner 
          was denied due process as the owner was not  given  notice  of  an
          inspection, or opportunity to present evidence at  the  inspection
          or thereafter, nor served a copy  of  the  inspection  report  nor
          provided the opportunity to cross-examine the inspector.

          Additionally,  the  petitioner   points   to   a   court   ordered
          stipulation with one of the signatories to the complaint,  wherein
          that tenant withdrew his complaint with prejudice.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is  of  the  opinion
          that the petition should be denied.

          City Ordinances expressly permit the use of a hook and  eye  latch
          closing device on the inside of roof doors.   While  the  tenants'
          complaint below claimed only that the hook and  eye  latch  device
          was insufficient to secure the roof door, the Commissioner  is  of
          the opinion that the tenants' complaint sufficiently  alerted  the
          owner to a  possible  lack  of  security  warranting  the  owner's
          attention.

          The inspector's report of the presence of space between  the  door
          and the door jamb confirmed a condition  constituting  a  lack  of
          security amounting to a reduction of service.  The fact  that  the
          inspection report did not specify the amount of space between  the
          door and jamb is of no consequence as the mere existence of  space
          rendered the premises insecure.  The inspector also reported  that
          the roof door was not self-closing.  Local ordinances require roof 
          doors to be self-closing swinging doors.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that a roof door which does not 
          fit into the door jamb, and the absence  of  a  self-closing  roof
          door constitute conditions reflecting a serious lack of  security.
          PAR Docket No. BF 230260-RO, cited by the petitioner, wherein  the
          Commissioner disallowed an improperly installed wire hook  on  the
          roof door as a basis for a rent reduction,  did  not  reflect  the
          serious conditions present below.








          Docket No.:  EB 430088 RO

          The Commissioner also  rejects  the  petitioner's  argument  of  a
          denial  of  due  process  for  failure  to  serve  notice  of  the
          inspection, to have  the  owner  present  at  the  inspection,  to
          provide copies of the inspection report, or to provide  the  owner
          the opportunity to cross-examine the inspector.

          The Division's procedure do  not  require  the  Division  to  give
          parties notice  of  the  inspection,  unless,  in  the  Division's
          discretion, their presence is required, nor to apprise the parties 
          of the results.  With regard to the request to  cross-examine  the
          inspector, the Commissioner  notes  that  the  Regulation  do  not
          require  the  Administrator  to  provide   the   owner   such   an
          opportunity.  All that due process  requires  is  that  reasonable
          opportunity be afforded the parties and that they have opportunity 
          to present their objections.  The owner's vigorous arguments below 
          establish that the owner was afforded such  an  opportunity.   The
          Commissioner further notes that the inspection report, prepared by 
          a rent agency employee not a party to the proceeding  and  not  an
          adversary to the owner, was properly  placed  in  the  record  for
          consideration  by  the  Administrator.   In   this   regard,   the
          Commissioner notes that the record was available to  the  parties,
          after the  Administrator's  order  issued,  by  a  proper  written
          request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

          The fact that one tenant relinquished his claims against the owner 
          after issuance of  the  Administrator's  order,  and  vacated  the
          premises, neither eliminated nor removed rent  reductions  granted
          to the remaining complainants, and did not relieve  the  owner  of
          the  obligation  to  restore  adequate  services.   Moreover,  the
          settlement  was  not  binding  upon  subsequent  tenants  to  that
          apartment, insofar as the rent reduction  granted  for  the  above
          noted service reduction is concerned.  Other  claims  resolved  in
          said settlement are not pertinent to these proceedings.

          THEREFORE,  in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of   the   Rent
          Stabilization Law and Code, Chapter 403 of the Laws of  1984,  and
          Chapter 102 of the Laws of 1984, it is

          ORDERED, that the owner's petition be  and  the  same  hereby  is,
          denied, and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby 
          is, affirmed.

          ISSUED:



                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner
    

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