EC420090RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433





          ------------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE          ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                                    DOCKET NO.: EC420090RO

                    Michael Nagel c/o
                    Kucker, Kraus & Bruh,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.: CL420510S

                                                       PREMISES:
                                                       229 West 78th Street
                                                       Apt. 24S
                                                       New York, N.Y.
                                   PETITIONER
          ------------------------------------x

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review of an order issued on February 5, 1990 concerning the 
          housing accommodations relating to the above-described docket 
          number.

          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 in this petition.

          The tenant commenced the proceeding below on December 29, 1988 by 
          filing a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain 
          certain services in the subject apartment.

          In answer, the owner denied the allegations in the complaint or 
          otherwise asserted in substance that services were being provided 
          and maintained, and repairs had been performed and would be 
          completed.  

          On December 5, 1989, a physical inspection of the subject apartment 
          was conducted by a DHCR staff member who confirmed the existence of 
          defective conditions.


          By an order dated February 5, 1990, the Administrator directed the 
          restoration of services and ordered a rent reduction as follows:












          EC420090RO


               1.   The apartment floors need scraping.     $5.00

               2.   The toilet seat in the maid's
                    toilet room was worn out.               $2.00

               3.   The stove pilot lights were defective.  $3.00

                                                  TOTAL    $10.00

          In the petition for administrative review filed on March 14, 1990, 
          the owner contends that the conditions were de minimis, not 
          warranting a rent reduction; even if the items could warrant a rent 
          reduction, the amounts "bear no rational relationship to the nature 
          of the item"; the "items cited by the Administrator were totally 
          within the control of the tenant and may have been caused by the 
          tenant's own negligence"; the failure of the Administrator to 
          provide the owner with a copy of the inspection report prior to the 
          issuance of the order was a violation of due process; and that the 
          owner reserves the right to supplement the petition.

          In answer, the tenant states in substance that many of the items 
          remain unresolved.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the petition should be denied.

          Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations, 
          the Rent Administrator may impose a rent reduction when there has 
          been a decrease in services.  The owner's petition does not 
          establish any basis for modifying or revoking the Administrator's 
          determination based on a December 5, 1989 physical inspection  
          confirming the existence of defective conditions, which are not de 
          minimis but decreased services warranting a rent reduction.  The 
          amounts of the rent reduction were not an abuse of the 
          Administrator's discretion.

          The Commissioner notes that the owner has not supplemented the 
          petition since it was filed three years ago.  The assertion that 
          the conditions "may have been caused by the tenant's own 
          negligence" is beyond the scope of administrative review, which is 
          limited to the issues and evidence before the Administrator.  
          Moreover, the owner failed to substantiate this assertion.





          The contention that it is a violation of due process for the 
          Administrator to fail to provide the owner with a copy of the 
          inspection report prior to the issuance of the order is without 
          merit.  The owner was not denied due process because the tenant's 






          EC420090RO

          complaint was sufficient notice.  The owner was fully informed of 
          the allegations in the complaint but the owner failed to 
          investigate the allegations and make necessary repairs; the 
          inspection report merely confirmed some allegations in the 
          complaint (FH410081RO; Empress Manor Apartments v. DHCR, 538 NYS2d 
          49, 147 AD2d 642).

          Accordingly, the Administrator's order when issued was in all 
          respects proper and is hereby sustained. 

          The rent will be restored only when an owner's application to 
          restore rent is filed and granted.  The owner is advised to file 
          such an application if the facts so warrant.

          The automatic stay of the retroactive rent reduction that resulted 
          by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this 
          Order and Opinion.

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

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


          ISSUED:






                                                                     
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner  






    

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