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.: EF120251RO
COOPER REALTY CO. RENT
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On June 29, 1990 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued June 5, 1990. The order concerned housing
accommodations known as Apt 3J located at 11-15 46th Road, Long
Island City, N.Y. The Administrator directed restoration of
services and ordered a reduction of the maximum legal rent.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully
considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this
The tenant commenced this proceeding on February 4, 1990 by
filing a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services wherein he
alleged, in substance, that the owner was not providing certain
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded
an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on April 16,
1990 and stated that it had completely painted and plastered the
apartment and that the plumbing and refrigerator complaints would
be investigated and repaired. The owner attached a copy of a work
order, signed by the tenant on April 5, 1990, wherein the tenant
acknowledged that the apartment was painted
The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject
apartment. The inspection was conducted on May 7, 1990 and
revealed the following:
1. Kitchen walls and ceiling cracked,
2. Foyer ceiling blistered and discolored,
3. Living room ceiling waterstained,
4. Living room walls cracked,
5. Bathroom ceiling bulging,
6. Bedroom ceiling waterstained,
7. Bathroom wall tiles loose,
8. Refrigerator gasket is worn and cracked,
9. Refrigerator freezer tray broken,
10. Refrigerator freezer temperature is 50 degrees F.
The following services were found to have been maintained:
1. Bathroom and kitchen cold water faucets
2. Shower hot water does not scald,
3. Toilet does not flush by itself.
The Administrator issued the order here under review on June
5, 1990 and ordered a rent reduction of 10% of the maximum legal
rent plus $22.50 based on the report of the DHCR inspector.
On appeal the owner states that the kitchen, foyer, bathroom
and living room were painted by April 4, 1990 and that the tenant
signed off on the repairs. The owner also stated that the tenant's
complaint never listed the bathroom wall tiles or refrigerator as
conditions requiring repair. In fact, the tenant stated that he
had paid $128 for the repair of his refrigerator and that the owner
had failed to reimburse him. The petition was served on the owner
on July 16, 1990.
The tenant filed a response on July 22, 1990 and stated, in
sum, that the owner had not made workmanlike repairs to his
apartment and that the order here under review should be affirmed.
After careful review of the evidence in the record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted
in part and that the order here under review should be affirmed as
With regard to the first 6 findings made by the Administrator,
regarding cracked, discolored, waterstained or bulging walls and/or
ceilings, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the Administrator
properly based these determinations on the record. The tenant has
not disputed that the owner painted and plastered the apartment.
However, the tenant has stated that the owner's repairs were not
done in a workmanlike manner. The owner is under an obligation to
insure that any repairs made to the apartment are done in a
workmanlike manner. The inspection report confirms that the owner
did not do so. These findings are affirmed.
With regard to the remainder of the findings, regarding
bathroom tiles and the refrigerator, the Commissioner is of the
opinion that these findings must be revoked. The owner is correct
in that the tenant did not include these items in his complaint.
The statement of the tenant regarding the refrigerator is not a
complaint of decrease in services but rather a request for
reimbursement for amounts expended to repair it. Numerous prior
orders of the Commissioner have held that due process requires that
the Administrator's order not exceed the scope of the complaint.
The owner is required to be notified of the defects in the
apartment so that an opportunity to make repairs can be afforded.
The tenant may file a new complaint with the DHCR and seek rent
reductions for the bathroom tiles and refrigerator if the facts so
With regard to the tenant's request for reimbursement for
payments he made to repair the refrigerator, the Commissioner notes
that the DHCR does not have jurisdiction to issue such an order.
The tenant must file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction
to recover the monies expended.
The Commissioner notes that the owner filed for rent
restoration and that this application was granted in part in an
order bearing Docket No. EI120091OR. The Commissioner further
notes that in any future rent restoration applications by the owner
it need not be established that the bathroom tiles and refrigerator
have been restored.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent and Eviction Regulations for
New York City it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,
granted, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, affirmed as modified herein. Any arrears owed to the
owner by reason of this order and opinion may be paid of in monthly
installments of $22.50 per month.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA