OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NOS.: FB 230308-RT
                                         :               EJ 230331-RO


     On October 23, 1990 and February 20,  1991,  the  above-named  petitioners
     timely filed or re-filed Petitions for Administrative  Review  against  an
     order issued on September 19, 1990 by the Rent Administrator of the  Gertz
     Plaza,   Jamaica,   District   Rent   Office,   concerning   the   housing
     accommodations known as 601 Albany Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

     The issue here is whether there was  a  decrease  in  services  warranting
     reduction of the legal regulated rent.

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

     On October 24, 1989 various tenants filed  a  complaint  alleging  various
     decreases in building services, specifically, vestibule door and lock  are
     broken, apartment intercoms are not working, a roof alarm is needed, as is 
     high power lighting around building, the door to the  basement  is  always
     open, tenants are using the garage as an auto shop,  derelicts  loiter  in
     the halls, there is severe rodent infestation, the  elevator  breaks  down
     frequently, hot water and heat are not at legal  levels,  the  roof  leaks
     into the top floor apartments, the building's interior  and  exterior  are
     filthy, and repairs are not done in any apartment. 

     In its answer, dated December 10, 1989, the owner responded to  the  above
     complaint alleging various repairs and changes in personnel and management 
     to improve building  conditions,  normally,  replacement  of  front  door,
     repair of intercoms, a new roof door has been ordered and  roof  has  been
     repaired in several areas, a new porter has been hired, there  is  a  full
     time plumber, the tenant using  the  garage  as  an  auto  shop  had  been
     threatened with eviction, and, to improve security the elevator  does  not
     go down to the basement after 8 P.M. 

     On  July  30,  1990  a  physical  inspection  of   the   subject   housing
     accommodation was conducted by the DHCR.  The inspector's report confirmed 
     existence of several of the complained of conditions specifically entrance 
     and vestibule door locks are defective, and were  not  self  locking,  the
     roof doors were not self closing,  basement  doors  were  not  closed  and
     locked elevator stops four inches below floor level on the 6th floor,  and
     the outside of the building was not clean.

     On September 19, 1990, the Rent Administrator issued an order based on the 
     report of the physical inspection, reducing the legal  regulated  rent  by
     the percentage of the most recent guidelines adjustment for  the  tenants'
     leases which commenced before December 1, 1987, the effective date of  the
     order, and directing the  owner  to  refund  to  the  tenant  all  amounts
     collected in  excess  of  the  reduced  rent  since  the  above  mentioned
     effective date.

     In their petition, the tenants contend that of the problems complained  of
     still exist throughout the building notwithstanding  that  they  were  not
     confirmed by the agency's inspection and that the order should be  amended
     to reflect these conditions.


          DOCKET NUMBER: EJ 230309-RT
     In response, the owner addresses each of the conditions enumerated in  the
     tenants' petition, and states that the  allegations  of  the  tenants  are
     unsupported by the Division and that the order should not  be  amended  to
     reflect conditions not found by the Division's inspector.

     In its petition, the owner states that he took over as  the  new  managing
     agent as of December 1, 1989 and the Division was notified of  this  fact.
     Owner claims that its agent was deprived of the opportunity to respond  to
     the tenants' complaint prior to the issuance of  the  order.   The  owner,
     furthermore, disputes the inspection findings in that the conditions found 
     by the inspector minor and, are unrelated to the use and enjoyment of  the
     building services exception of the elevator  leveling  condition,  do  not
     rise to the level of a required service.

     In response, the tenants state that the owner should have known about  the
     tenants' complaint when it purchased the building, that the  owner  should
     not have been  given  knowledge  of  any  upcoming  inspection,  and  that
     services which were not cited in the order are not being maintained.

     The Commissioner is of the opinion that both owner and tenants'  petitions
     should be denied.

     Despite  the  tenants'  assertions,  the  physical  inspection  failed  to
     disclose the conditions asserted in the tenants' petition.   Consequently,
     the  Administrator's order cannot be amended  to  include  conditions  not
     confirmed by the report of inspection.

     The Commissioner rejects the owner's  claim  of  lack  of  opportunity  to
     respond,  the  Commissioner  notes  that  on  December  10,  1989  in  the
     proceeding before the Administrator the  petitioner  herein  answered  the
     tenants' complaint.  Included in the answer was the statement that "a  new
     management is involved" at the premises and "changes  are  taking  place."
     The answer is signed, "Shalom Becker, Managing agent.  It is apparent from 
     the answer that the new management  referred  to  in  the  answer  is  the
     petitioner itself.  Therefore, petitioner's statement that its  agent  was
     deprived of the opportunity to respond to the tenants' complaint prior  to
     the issuance of the order is without merit.

     While petitioner disputes some of the inspection  findings,  it  does  not
     contravene the finding regarding the lock on the front entrance  door  and
     agrees that the conditioner of elevator leveling constitutes  a  reduction
     in service.  Petitioner submits the statement of  an  elevator  contractor
     dated September 27, 1990 that the elevator was serviced in  the  month  of
     December 1989 and adjusted for proper leveling.

     The evidence of record indicates that the Administrator  properly  reduced
     the rent based on a physical inspection conducted on July 30, 1990,  which
     revealed that the owner had failed  to  maintain  and/or  provide  certain
     specified services.

     This order is issued without prejudice to the owner's and tenants'  rights
     to file applications with the Division for a restoration of rent,  if  the
     facts so warrant, or for reduction  in  rent  should  the  owner  fail  to
     provide services not reflected in the Administrator's order.

     On the basis of the entire evidence of record, the Commissioner finds that 
     the Administrator's finding of decrease in services and the ordering of  a
     rent reduction was correct based on inspection findings.

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabilization Law 

          DOCKET NUMBER: EJ 230309-RT
     and Code, it is


          DOCKET NUMBER: EJ 230309-RT
     ORDERED, that these petitions for administrative review be, and  the  same
     hereby are, denied, and, that the order of the Rent Administrator be,  and
     the same hereby is, affirmed.


                                     ELLIOT SANDER
                                     Deputy Commissioner


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