ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: EG 110111 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

          ------------------------------------X 
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.:              
                                                 EG 110111 RO                
                               
                                              :  
                                                 
                                                 RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S    
                                                 DOCKET NO.:                 
                                                 EA 110342 S
                 FRANK GABRIELLI                            
                                                  

                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X                             

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                      AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

               On July 2, 1990, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          petition for administrative review of an order issued on June 6, 
          1990, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing 
          accommodations known as Apartment 3-G, 175-51 Dalny Road, Jamaica, 
          NY, wherein the Administrator determined that certain services were 
          not being provided or maintained and ordered a rent reduction.

               The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the 
          record and has carefully considered that portion of the record 
          relevant to the issue raised by the administrative appeal.  

               The tenant commenced this proceeding on January 29, 1990 by 
          filing a complaint in which she alleged that the screens throughout 
          the apartment are broken, the apartment entrance door is damaged 
          due to an attempted break-in, the roof is leaking, the electrical 
          wiring is dangerous, the living room and bedroom windows are badly 
          insulated, the living room needs to be painted, and the kitchen 
          linoleum was damaged by the owner.



















          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: EG 110111 RO

               In answer to the complaint, the owner submitted a list of 
          violations reported by the New York City Department of Housing 
          Preservation and Development as a result of an inspection on 
          January 23, 1990 and stated that those violations would be 
          corrected and all other complaints are nonsense.

               A physical inspection by DHCR on April 30, 1990 revealed 
          defective screens on living room sliding windows, apartment 
          entrance door sticks and rubber kick plate is missing, and kitchen 
          linoleum is broken near refrigerator. Other conditions complained 
          of by tenant were not confirmed.

               Based on the inspector's report, a rent reduction was ordered 
          and the owner was directed to correct the defective conditions.

               In the petition for administrative review, the owner asserts 
          that the order should be reversed because the screens in the 
          apartment are the tenant's responsibility pursuant to a 1983 court 
          order, a new door which meets all New York City Codes was installed 
          in early spring, and the linoleum in the kitchen was installed by 
          the tenant.

               In answer to the petition, the tenant states that the windows 
          in the apartment were never sealed properly and are drafty, that 
          new screens are needed, that a new entrance door was installed but 
          the installation was not completed, and that the kitchen linoleum 
          was installed by the tenant after the owner refused to repair the 
          floor underneath but then the tenant's linoleum was damaged when 
          the owner removed an old heavy refrigerator.

               After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner finds that the petition should be denied but the Rent 
          Administrator's order should be modified. 

               Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code requires DHCR to 
          order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant, when it is 
          found that the owner has failed to maintain required services.  
          Required services are defined by Section 2520.6(r) to include 
          repairs and maintenance.

               In the instant case, the Division's physical inspection 
          confirmed the existence of certain defective conditions for which 
          a rent reduction is warranted.  As for the defective screens 
          reported by the inspector, the owner's contention that the tenant 
          is required to supply screens was not raised before the 
          Administrator and may not be considered for the first time in this 
          administrative appeal which is limited to a review of facts or 



          evidence that were before the Administrator.  It also cannot be 
          determined from the record whether the screens referred to in the 






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: EG 110111 RO

          court stipulation are the same screens that were found to be 
          defective by the inspector.

               As for the linoleum, the owner also did not raise the issue of 
          this item belonging to the tenant when the proceeding was before 
          the Administrator but the tenant concedes that she purchased and 
          installed the linoleum herself.  The nature of her complaint is 
          that the owner damaged the linoleum and should be required to 
          repair it.  In these circumstances, of which there is no factual 
          dispute, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code does not authorize a rent reduction for 
          damage to a tenant's property caused by the owner.  The tenant will 
          have to seek a legal remedy for this loss in a court of competent 
          jurisdiction.  

               If it is true, as the tenant alleges, that she installed the 
          linoleum only after the floor provided by the owner became 
          defective and the owner refused to make repairs, then the tenant 
          should have filed a complaint about the condition of the floor and 
          obtained a rent reduction before resorting to self-help.  The 
          tenant may still remove her linoleum and file a complaint about the 
          underlying floor but the directive in the order appealed herein to 
          the owner to repair the tenant's linoleum must be revoked. 

               The remaining condition regarding the apartment entrance door 
          is affirmed.  There is no dispute that this is a new door but the 
          tenant's allegation that the installation was not completed 
          properly was confirmed by the inspector.  The owner's evidence of 
          a bill showing the date and cost of the installation and the 
          statement that the door conforms to all code requirements does not 
          rebut the findings of the inspector regarding defects that remained 
          to be corrected.  For these conditions and the defective screens, 
          the rent reduction ordered by the Administrator was warranted. 

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

               ORDERED, that this petition be and the same hereby is denied 
          and the rent reduction ordered by the Rent Administrator be and the 
          same hereby is affirmed as modified to delete the reference to the 
          defective linoleum as a basis for the rent reduction.

          ISSUED:
                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner



                                                    







    

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