EJ 610285-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     SJR NO.: 5735
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:  
                                                  EJ                610285-RO
                 CAROL MANAGEMENT CORP.
            c/o  HORING & WELIKSON,               RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                  PETITIONER      DI 610739-S
          ----------------------------------x     


             ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                 AFTER RECONSIDERATION


          On October 30, 1990, the above named owner  filed  a  petition  for
          administrative review of an order issued on September 25, 1990,  by
          a Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodation known  as
          Apt. 1-F, 4901 Henry Hudson Parkway, Bronx, New York, wherein  rent
          was reduced due to a diminution of service.

          On March 13, 1991, the Commissioner issued  an  order  and  opinion
          denying the owner's petition and affirming the Rent Administrator's 
          order.

          Subsequent  thereto,  the  owner  sought  judicial  review  of  the
          Commissioner's determination in the Supreme  Court,  Bronx  County,
          pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice  Law  and  Rules.   On
          November 7, 1991 the Court, Salman, J., granted the  owner's  peti-
          tion to the extent of remanding the matter  to  this  Division  for
          reconsideration.

          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 petition for review.

          On September 25, 1989 the subject tenant, filed an application  for
          a rent reduction based on the owner's alleged failure  to  maintain
          service alleging, inter alia, that her apartment required  painting
          as it had not been painted in seven years.




          On November 14, 1989, the owner interposed an answer  to  the  ten-
          ant's complaint wherein it alleged inter alia, that the apartment
          had been painted on September 21, 1988, that the DHCR states that
          apartments should be painted every three years, that the owner  had
          made in the past several attempts to repair the  apartment  floors,
          sending her a  telegram  requesting  that  she  schedule  a  repair
          appointment but that the tenant  "never  responded  either  to  the
          telegram  or  to  the  numerous  messages  left  on  her  answering






          EJ 610285-RO  
          machine."  The owner continued, "I suppose  that  she  was  contem-
          plating this rent reduction request at that time,  that's  why  she
          wouldn't provide access."  Finally, the owner asserted, . . .  "The
          conditions the tenant claims have been abated."   Attached  to  the
          owner's answer are a photocopied paint request dated May  18th  and
          19th, 1988, a photocopied Western Union Mailgram, dated August  14,
          1989, advising the tenant to contact the owner's  agent  "regarding
          the kitchen floor and make an appointment  to  inspect  .  .  .  ,"
          photocopied bills for repair of the kitchen floor  and  replacement
          of a dishwasher, and a photocopied letter dated September 19,  1989
          advising tenants of a telephone number  to  call  for  service  re-
          quests.

          On August 14, 1990 a physical inspection of the  subject  apartment
          was carried out by the Division of Housing  and  Community  Renewal
          DHCR).  The inspector, in his report, noted peeling  paint  in  the
          bathroom and living room and further noted that the bedroom, foyer, 
          and kitchen walls had been spackled, and plastered but not painted.

          On September 25, 1990 the Rent Administrator issued the order  here
          under review finding that a diminution of services had occurred and 
          reducing the tenant's rent to the level in effect prior to the last 
          rent guideline increase which commenced before the  effective  date
          of the rent reduction.

          In the petition for administrative review the owner  requests  that
          the Rent Administrator's order be reversed based  on  the  tenant's
          refusal to give access and the  de  minimus  [sic]  nature  of  the
          alleged defects.  Attached to the owner's petition are  photocopies
          of documents previously submitted with the owner's answer  as  well
          as the photocopy of a bill number 20113, from All  State  Appliance
          Company dated April 27, 1990 and an Inter Office  Communication  of
          Carol Management Corporation dated April 23, 1990.

          In answer to the owner's petition the  tenant  denies  ever  having
          refused access to the apartment.

          After careful reconsideration of this matter the Commissioner is of 
          the opinion that this petition should be denied.


          The Commissioner  notes  that  the  owner's  answer  in  regard  to
          painting the subject apartment was an assertion that  painting  had
          been done on September 21, 1988 and that the apartment was not  due
          for a new painting.  This assertion was supported by the submission 
          of a paint request dated May 18 and 19, 1988 (although no  evidence
          of a completed paint job was submitted).

          The only item for which the issue of a denial of access by the 
          tenant was raised by the owner  was  in  regard  to  its  purported
          "attempts to repair the kitchen floors."   Moreover,  this  allega-
          tion of denied access refers to  a  Western  Union  Mailgram  dated
          August 14, 1989, more than one month prior to the  tenant's  having
          filed the instant complaint and more than two months prior  to  the
          service of the tenant's complaint upon the owner.  It is noted that 
          the kitchen floor condition was not a basis for the rent  reduction
          which was ordered.  Accordingly, evidence offered as probative of a 
          denial of access for repair thereof is irrelevant.  Even  assuming,
          arguendo, that the owner's answer was inartfully drafted  and  that






          EJ 610285-RO  
          it really meant to assert a denial of access in regard to the paint 
          condition alleged in the complaint (rather than the kitchen floor), 
          it is neither a cogent nor convincing argument because  the  denial
          of access alleged antedates the service of  the  tenant's  painting
          complaint upon the owner by more than two months.

          It is further noted that the owner's establishment of the no-access 
          defense was never perfected during the proceeding under review  due
          to its failure to follow the procedures set forth  in  DHCR  Policy
          Statement 90-5 which provides that after the owner has  raised  the
          issue of a denial of access in answer to a tenant complaint;

                    . . . the owner should then submit  to  the  DHCR
                    copies of two letters to  the  tenant  attempting
                    to arrange access dates.   Each  of  the  letters
                    must be mailed at least  eight  days  before  the
                    proposed date for access and  the  second  letter
                    must be sent by certified  mail,  return  receipt
                    requested.   The  return  receipt  must  also  be
                    submitted with the request for  a  no-access  in-
                    spection.

                    DHCR will  not  schedule  a  "no-access"  inspec-
                    tion without receiving proof that both of 
                    these letters were sent as specified . . .

          Although the owner has characterized the  paint  condition  as  "de
          minimus", the Commissioner notes that the inspector found  painting
          deficiencies in each and every room of the subject accommodation



          as well as in the foyer and bathroom.  In the opinion of  the  Com-
          missioner the cited condition is  pervasive.   Notwithstanding  the
          owner's conclusory statement as to the scope of the painting 
          condition, the Commissioner finds that it is not de minimis.  More 
          over, based on the accommodation's room-count the condition  is  de
          maximis.

          The case cited by the owner in support of is contention that a rent 
          reduction should not have been granted  (ARL-086720-U)  is  distin-
          guishable from the instant case.  The case cited by the owner 
          involved a building-wide service complaint whereas the instant case 
          involves the individual apartment complaint of a single tenant.

          Finally, the Commissioner notes that two documents forming part  of
          petitioner's Exhibit "D" (bill number 20113, dated April  27,  1990
          from All State Appliance Company, and the  Inter-Office  Communica-
          tion from Carol Management dated April 23, 1990) were not submitted 
          to the Rent  Administrator  during  the  original  proceeding  even
          though, judging from their dates five months prior to the  issuance
          of the Rent Administrator's order, they were in the owner's posses 
          sion.  The owner has offered no explanation for its failure  to  do
          so.  Accordingly, pursuant to Section 2529.6 of the Rent Stabiliza 
          tion Code these documents may not be considered  now  when  offered
          for the first time on administrative appeal.  

          The owner is advised that Section 27-2013 b of the Housing Mainten 
           ance Code provides;






          EJ 610285-RO  

                    In occupied dwelling units in  a  multiple  dwel-
                    ling, the owner shall:

                    (1)  Paint or cover the walls and  ceilings  with
                         wallpaper or other  acceptable  wall  cover-
                         ing; and 

                    (2)  Repaint or re-cover the walls  and  ceilings
                         with  wallpaper  or  other  acceptable  wall
                         covering every three years, and  more  often
                         when required by contract  or  other  provi-
                         sions of law.  [emphasis added].

          Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the  Rent  Stabilization  Code,  a
          tenant may apply to the DHCR for a reduction of the legal regulated 
          rent to the level in effect prior to  the  most  recent  guidelines
          adjustment and the DHCR shall so reduce the rent for the period for 
          which it is found that the owner has failed  to  maintain  required
          services.



          Required services are  defined  in  Section  2520.6(r)  to  include
          repairs and maintenance.

          The Commissioner finds that the Rent Administrator  properly  based
          his determination on the entire record; including  the  results  of
          the on-site physical inspection conducted on August  14,  1990  and
          that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the  Rent  Adminis-
          trator was mandated to reduce the rent upon  determining  that  the
          owner had failed to maintain services.

          This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to  the  owner's
          rights as they may pertain to an application to the Division for  a
          restoration of rent based upon the restoration of services.


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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied  and
          that the Rent Administrator's order be, and  the  same  hereby  is,
          affirmed.


          ISSUED:



           
                                               JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                               Acting Deputy Commissioner


    

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