EF530039RO
                                  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


          ----------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: EF530039RO
                                                  
               INWOOD MANSIONS                    RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: CK530070B
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                          
               On June 14, 1990 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued May 10, 1990. The order concerned various 
          housing accommodations located at 121 Seaman Ave., New York, N.Y.  
          The Administrator directed restoration of services and further 
          ordered a reduction of the stabilized and maximum legal rents.

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 
          appeal.

               This proceeding was commenced on November 5, 1988 when 26 of 
          the 41 building tenants filed a Statement of Complaint of Decrease 
          in Building-Wide Services wherein they alleged the following 
          services deficiencies:

                    1.   Heat and hot water problems; boiler not 
                         functioning,

                    2.   Incinerator inoperative for several months,

                    3.   Garbage not disposed of,

                    4.   Lack of emergency exit from basement,

                    5.   Elevator breaks down on regular basis,

                    6.   Plumbing problems,

                    7.   Broken outer front door,

                    8.   Lack of response to repair requests,













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                    9.   Lack of superintendent.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on January 3, 
          1989 and stated that:

                    1.   This complaint is a duplicate of one pending with 
                         DHCR,

                    2.   The complaint is procedurally defective,

                    3.   The complaint was filed to attempt to prevent the 
                         owner from converting the building to cooperative 
                         ownership,

                    4.   Heat and hot water are provided in accordance with 
                         law,

                    5.   The incinerator has been repaired,

                    6.   Elevator problems are the result of vandalism; 
                         elevator has been repaired,

                    7.   Front door has been repaired.

          The owner attached certain contracts and paid bills as proof that 
          repairs had been made.

               On April 12, 1989 the owner's attorney submitted a letter 
          wherein he stated that the pending proceeding described in the 
          owner's response had been denied by DHCR in an order issued April 
          6, 1989 (see Docket No. CK530101HW).
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspections of the 
          subject building.  An inspection was conducted on May 22, 1989.  
          The building was reinspected on November 27, 1989 and March 22, 
          1990.  The inspector reported the following:

                    1.   Laundry room is not clean,

                    2.   Entrance door difficult to open and close,

                    3.   Trash collection and storage services inadequate; 
                         trash storage area in courtyard has excessive 
                         accumulation of garbage bags; insufficient number 
                         of trash bags provided; area is in unsanitary 
                         condition.
            
          The following services were found to have been maintained:

                    1.   No evidence of garbage accumulation in basement,







          EF530039RO

                    2.   Basement emergency exit unobstructed,

                    3.   Elevator operative,

                    4.   Public hallways and stairways clean.

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on May 
          10, 1990.  In addition to setting out the inspector's report, the 
          Administrator noted that the evidence of record indicated that 
          incinerator service was not being maintained on a regular basis.  
          The Administrator further stated that the owner had failed to 
          refute the tenant's allegation that the superintendent does not 
          dispose of garbage in a timely manner, and that apartment level 
          trash collection service is not maintained.  The Administrator 
          directed the owner to maintain regular incinerator and apartment 
          level trash disposal services.  The Administrator also advised the 
          tenants to file individual complaints in regard to apartment issues 
          and directed the tenants to file complaints regarding the 
          superintendent with the Office of Code Enforcement of New York 
          City.

               The Administrator ordered a rent reduction of $16.00 per month 
          for rent controlled tenants and an amount equal to the most recent 
          guideline adjustment for rent stabilized tenants.  The rent 
          reduction for rent controlled tenants was ordered effective June 1, 
          1990 and the rent reduction for rent stabilized tenants was ordered 
          effective January 1, 1989. 

               On appeal the owner states that:

                    1.   The unclean laundry room and inadequate trash 
                         collection and storage services are recurring 
                         conditions which do not warrant a rent reduction 
                         especially in light of the inspector's report of 
                         clean basement, hallways and stairways,

                    2.   The entrance door is not a service reduction since 
                         a person of ordinary strength could open said door 
                         and a new door closer was installed prior to the 
                         filing of the tenants' complaint.  The owner also 
                         states that the problem with the door is a "minor 
                         condition",

                    3.   It is unclear if the Administrator's direction to 
                         the owner to maintain incinerator and trash 
                         disposal services formed a basis for a rent 
                         reduction.  If so, this was based on something 
                         other than the inspector's report.  The owner 
                         states that the incinerator has worked well since 
                         the time the complaint was filed. The owner further 
                         states that it successfully refuted claims that the 
                         superintendent was not collecting trash and 












          EF530039RO

                    disposing of garbage in a timely manner.

               The tenants' representative filed a response on July 30, 1990 
          wherein he stated, in substance, that the order here under review 
          should be affirmed and that the rent reduction should be ordered 
          effective November 5, 1988.
           
               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

               With regard to the issue of the dirty laundry room, the 
          Commissioner rejects the owner's argument that this is a "recurring 
          condition" which does not warrant a rent reduction.  The tenants 
          complained about a lack of superintendent services and the 
          inspector's report of a dirty laundry room confirmed the failure to 
          maintain the public areas in a clean condition on an ongoing basis. 
          The fact that the inspector found that other public areas of the 
          building are properly cleaned does not establish that a rent 
          reduction for the condition of the laundry room is not warranted.

               With regard to the entrance door, the Commissioner rejects the 
          owner's argument that the condition is minor.  A properly 
          functioning entrance door is a service to which all tenants are 
          entitled and the inspector corroborated the tenants' complaint that 
          the door was difficult to open and close.

               Finally, with regard to the issue of building trash collection 
          the inspection confirmed the complaint of lack of garbage disposal 
          and unsanitary conditions.  The basis for the rent reduction was 
          clearly stated as unsanitary conditions, inadequate garbage 
          receptacles and an accumulation of garbage bags in the courtyard 
          and garbage storage areas.  The Commissioner notes that the owner 
          subsequently corrected these conditions as confirmed by a physical 
          inspection conducted in a rent restoration proceeding (FE530241OR).
          Since the incinerator was found to be inoperative on November 27, 
          1989 but operative on March 22, 1990, the rents were not reduced 
          for failure to provide incinerator service but the owner was 
          directed to continue to maintain regular incinerator service.

               The Commissioner notes that pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the 
          Rent Stabilization Code, tenants may apply to the DHCR for a rent 
          reduction and the rent shall be reduced based on a finding that the 
          owner has failed to maintain required services.  Section 2202.16 of 
          the Rent and Eviction Regulations authorizes a rent reduction for 
          rent controlled tenants based on a finding of failure to maintain 
          essential services.  Repairs, maintenance, janitorial services and 
          removal of refuse are included in the statutory definition of 
          required and essential services.  The Commissioner finds that the 
          Administrator based this determination on the entire record 
          including the results of the physical inspections described above.  
          The order here under review is affirmed.  The automatic stay of the 
          retroactive rent abatement for rent stabilized tenants that 






          EF530039RO

          resulted by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of 
          this order and opinion.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and 
          Rent and Eviction Regulations it is 

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

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                                   






    

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