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STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
-----------------------------------X S.J.R. No. 5656
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: EJ 130105 RO
Jocara Realty Company, DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR
DOCKET NO.: DG 130092-B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On October 16, 1990 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on
September 21, 1990 by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall
Street, Jamaica, New York concerning housing accommodations known
as 82-15 Britton Avenue, Elmhurst, New York, various
Subsequent thereto, the petitioner-owner filed a petition in the
Supreme Court pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law
and Rules requesting that the "deemed denial" of the petitioner's
administrative appeal be annulled.
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.
This proceeding was commenced on June 1, 1989 by various rent
controlled and rent stabilized tenants of the subject premises
filing a complaint of a decrease in building-wide services
alleging, among other things, that the elevators did not work
In Docket No. DG 130092-B, the Rent Administrator determined that
the owner was not maintaining services, reduced the rent
controlled tenants' rents by $4.00 per month, effective on the
first rent payment date following the issue date of the order,
and reduced the rent stabilized tenants' rents effective
September 1, 1989 to the level in effect prior to the last
guideline increase which commenced before September 1, 1989.
This order was based on two physical inspections of the subject
premises conducted on March 26 and July 31, 1990 which revealed,
among other things, that one of the elevators did not stop level
on all floors and the cab bounced and swayed at all floors.
In this petition, the owner asserts, among other things, that on
September 21, 1990, the same date the order appealed herein was
issued, the Rent Administrator issued an order under Docket Nos.
DL 130080-OR, AF 130034-B, CI 130163-B and BK 110034-OR restoring
the rents for the subject building based on a physical inspection
of the subject premises conducted on August 13, 1990 which
revealed, among other things, that the elevators were operating
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and leveling properly and there was no evidence that they were
hazardous and dangerous. The owner asserts that the rent
reduction should be revoked.
In response, the tenants assert, among other things, that the
elevators are not functioning properly and are unsafe and that
the rent reduction should not be revoked based on the results of
the August 13, 1990 inspection because said inspection related to
a separate services complaint.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
Section 2205.1 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations requires an
owner to maintain services. Sections 2202.16 of the Regulations
provides, in pertinent part, that if the owner fails to maintain
essential services, the Rent Administrator may order a decrease
in maximum rent in an amount which the Administrator, in his
discretion, may determine.
Section 2525.2 of the Rent Stabilization Code requires an owner
to maintain services, defined in Section 2520.6 to include
repairs and maintenance. Section 2523.4 of the Code provides
that a tenant may apply to the Division for a reduction of rent
and the Division shall so reduce the rent based on a finding that
the owner has failed to maintain services.
In this case the evidence of record reveals that the owner was
maintaining services. Specifically, the evidence of record
indicates that as of August 13, 1990, prior to the issuance of
the herein appealed order, all of the items complained of in the
original service complaint (filed under Docket No. DG 130092-B),
including the elevator service, were being maintained.
Notwithstanding the fact that the August 13, 1990 physical
inspection was conducted in connection with a separate services
complaint, the Commissioner is obliged to take notice of the
results of said inspection which was conducted at the subject
premises by a DHCR staff member. Accordingly, the Commissioner
finds that a rent reduction was not warranted.
Any arrears owing to the owner as a result of this order may be
paid by the tenants in twelve equal monthly installments. Should
any tenant vacate the subject building such arrears shall be
This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the
tenants' rights to file a complaint of a decrease in services if
the facts so warrant.
The Commissioner notes that the owner also contends in the
petition that a rent reduction was not warranted in this
proceeding because a rent reduction was already in effect for the
subject premises and that the amount of the rent reduction
imposed was not rationally related to the nature of the condition
cited. In light of the fact that the rent reduction imposed
herein has been found to be unwarranted, the Commissioner finds
that these contentions are moot.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent and Eviction regulations
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and the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted,
and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
revoked in its entirety.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA