ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: EI-430264-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.:               
                                                 EI-430264-RO    
                                              :
                                                 DISTRICT RENT              
                                                 ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET     
                                                 NO.: DF-430165-B           
           RIVERSIDE DRIVE REALTY 
                                                                          
                                             
                                                  

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

           ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW,
              REVOKING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER AND REMANDING FOR FURTHER 
                                    CONSIDERATION

               On September  18,  1990,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner
          filed a Petition  for  Administrative  Review  against  an  order
          issued on August 14, 1990, by the  Rent  Administrator  at  Gertz
          Plaza, Jamaica, New York, concerning the  housing  accommodations
          known as 250 Riverside Drive, New York,  New  York,  wherein  the
          Administrator reduced rent by $16.00 for rent controlled  tenants
          based on a finding of a reduction of building wide services.

               The proceedings were commenced by  several  rent  controlled
          tenants in a joint complaint wherein they alleged,  in  pertinent
          part, that access to the roof was being denied, that key elevator 
          access to the basement had been replaced by a button resulting in 
          reduced security, and that many intercom units were defective  in
          that there was only one-way communication. 

               A physical inspection of the building for Apartment #2 by  a
          DHCR employee on March 22, 1990 confirmed that the  intercom  was
          inoperative, that access to the roof was not  possible  and  that
          access to the basement by the elevator was  available  without  a
          key.




               Based on a finding that the owner had failed to  respond  to
          the Administrator's request for certain  additional  information,
          and on the results of the inspection, the  Administrator  granted
          rent reductions for a locked roof gate door constituting  a  fire
          hazard ($5.00), for an inoperative intercom  system  ($6.00)  and
          for the elimination of a key operated elevator button for  access
          to the basement ($5.00). 







          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: EI-430264-RO
               On appeal, the owner submits a copy  of  an  answer  to  the
          complaint dated August 23, 1989, as well as  a  copy  of  another
          response filed on May 25, 1990 by certified mail  (P  067852513).
          The owner's PAR reiterates in  pertinent  part,  assertions  made
          therein. 

               With regard to the roof door, the petition sets  forth  that
          the owner installed a fire gate alarm roof door with the tenants' 
          consent (possibly partially financed by the tenants), and that it 
          can be opened without a key, in case of  emergency,  and  remains
          open  until  the  alarm  is  turned  off  by  key.    The   owner
          acknowledges that key access is required from the roof side,  and
          asserts that residents are not permitted on the roof.  

               Concerning the key operated elevator button  for  access  to
          the basement, the Commissioner  notes  that  the  owner's  answer
          below  pointed  out  that  the  City  Buildings'  Department  had
          determined this to be a fire hazard and had  issued  a  violation
          report directing the owner to remove the violation.  However,  on
          appeal, the owner asserts that a key operated elevator button for 
          access to the basement is provided.   

               Concerning   the   intercom,   the   petitioner   reiterates
          statements below that a new intercom has been installed,  submits
          copies  of  canceled   checks   constituting   payment   to   the
          contractor, resubmits a copy of the contract,  and  asserts  that
          repairs were completed on April 1,  1990,  which  was  after  the
          inspection, but prior to the Administrator's order.   

               Two tenants answered the petition and reasserted their right 
          to access to the roof.  They claimed that they had paid for  keys
          for the roof door  but  had  never  received  them.   One  tenant
          conceded that the key switch  for  the  elevator  button  to  the
          basement  had  been  restored,  but  contended  that  it  was  an
          ineffective security device.

               The applicable law  is  Section  2202.16  of  the  Rent  and
          Eviction Regulations. 




               After careful consideration,  the  Commissioner  is  of  the
          opinion  that  the  petition  be  granted  in  part,   that   the
          Administrator's order be revoked, and  that  the  proceedings  be
          remanded to the Administrator for further consideration, as  more
          fully set forth below.  

               The Commissioner finds  that  the  Administrator's  findings
          concerning the roof door misrepresented the tenants' complaint. 
          The true nature of their complaint  suggested  that  the  owner's
          refusal to provide keys for the roof  door  precluded  them  from
          using the roof for sun bathing and other  purposes  because  they
          could not re-enter  from  the  roof  side  without  a  key.   The
          Administrator's order did not address this issue.  Moreover,  the
          record is insufficient to  determine  whether  the  tenants  were
          entitled  to  access  to  the  roof  for  such  purposes  on  the
          applicable base date or thereafter,  and  if  so,  whether  their
          rights were restricted or eliminated.  






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: EI-430264-RO

               Concerning the key operated elevator button  for  access  to
          the basement, the Commissioner notes that  a  service  cannot  be
          furnished in violation of applicable local ordinance.  
          Consequently, the tenants were neither permitted to request a key 
          operated elevator button nor entitled to a rent reduction because 
          the owner followed  through  with  a  directive  to  correct  the
          violation.  

               Concerning the intercom system, the Commissioner notes  that
          the Administrator did not consider the  owner's  timely  response
          that the intercom system had been  replaced  to  correct  defects
          previously  reported.   Based  on  the  record   presented,   the
          Commissioner finds that the owner had in fact properly  addressed
          the tenants' complaint.

               It is noted in the  Administrator's  order  that,  in  fact,
          access to the basement was not in issue, and that access  to  the
          basement via the elevator was provided.

               For the reasons noted above,  the  Commissioner  is  of  the
          opinion that the Administrator's rent reduction order  should  be
          revoked in its entirety.  However, the proceedings  are  remanded
          to the Administrator to consider the tenants' complaint that they 
          are being deprived of access to the roof.   If  necessary  for  a
          proper determination, a hearing may be held.   

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the  provisions  of  the  Rent
          and Eviction Regulations, it is




               ORDERED, that the owner's  petition  be  granted,  that  the
          Administrator's order be revoked, that the rents be  restored  to
          their proper level, and that the matter be remanded to the 
          Administrator  for  further  consideration,  as  provided  above.
          However, the payment of any arrears owed the owner by the tenants 
          as a result of the order is stayed  pending  issuance  of  a  new
          determination by the Administrator on remand. 

          ISSUED:





                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

           
    

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