STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NOS.: FB 230308-RT
: EJ 230331-RO
SHIRLEY WARD (TENANT REPRESENTATIVE) DRO DOCKET NO.: DJ 230052-B
and LP ALBANY REALTY BY
SHALOM BECKER PETITIONERS :
ORDER AND OPINION PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
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
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
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.