STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.:
EC430242RO; SJR 7258
Charles Birdoff & Co.,
DOCKET NO.: DC430107B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN PART AND MODIFYING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On March 5, 1990, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition
for administrative review of an order issued on January 29, 1990,
by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommodation
known as 309 East 75th Street, New York, N.Y., wherein the
Administrator determined that there had been a reduction in
services building-wide, ordered a rent reduction for the rent
controlled and rent stabilized tenants, and directed the owner to
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 by the filing of three complaints of
reduction in services by separate tenants dated March 1, 1989 which
were joined in by various other tenants and which were consolidated
on processing by the Administrator.
The owner was served with the tenants' complaints and submitted an
Thereafter, an inspection conducted by an employee of the Division
confirmed the existence of some of the complained of conditions and
ordered a reduction of the rent for both rent controlled and rent
In the petition for administrative review, the owner contends, in
substance, that it provides a full time superintendent; that the
overall level of building maintenance has improved; that the name
and telephone number of a company employee, who lives 3 blocks
away, is posted in the building; that the bulkhead walls and
ceiling were repaired and roof re-tarred three years earlier. The
owner denies that there is an accumulation of garbage in front of
the building, and furthermore, requests a stay of the prospective
portion of the order in addition to the automatic stay of the
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be granted in part.
The owner has submitted no evidence to dispute the inspection
findings of the Administrator as contained in the order below.
However, the Commissioner finds that the condition of peeling paint
and plaster of bulkhead walls and ceiling, and its resultant rent
reduction, is not warranted by the record.
In the complaint below, the tenants asserted that the live-in super
had been removed and that they must wait days for services or
repairs to be made. It was in this context that the tenants'
complaint specified "leaks, lights, garbage, etc." The tenants'
complaint was not specific enough to conclude that it is a
complaint about a particular leak, but rather a general statement
that repairs are not timely made because there is no live-in super.
Therefore, the instruction to the Division's inspector to inspect
for "any evidence of leaks," was clearly outside the scope of the
tenants' complaint, and the complaint was not sufficient to put the
owner on notice of the condition that was ultimately found. In
addition, a condition such as this caused by a roof leak is
generally not within the scope of janitorial services.
The instruction to the inspector relating to garbage however was
justified because it was not based on the same reference to "leaks,
lights, garbage, etc." The tenants' complaint specifically
addressed garbage accumulation on the sidewalk and street and it
was appropriate for the Division's inspector to pursue this aspect
of the complaint.
The Commissioner therefore finds that the reference to the bulkhead
and ceiling peeling paint and plaster and the resultant reduction
of $4.00 attributable thereto and applicable to the rent controlled
tenants affected by the order, should be deleted from the
Administrator's order. The rent reduction for the rent stabilized
tenants, however, remains the same.
If there are rent arrears due the owner as a result of this order,
the tenant can pay the arrearage in monthly installments of $4.00
per month until all arrears are repaid.
The owner's request for a stay is not warranted in light of the
relief granted in Docket No. HE430128RO.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the City Rent Law, the Rent and
Eviction Regulations, the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, and the
Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in
part, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, modified in accordance with this Order and Opinion.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA