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.: EC530409RO
Manhattan Seven Corp.,
DOCKET NO.: DD530044B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On March 2, 1990, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition
for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on January 29,
1990, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodations known as 853 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y.,
various apartments, wherein the Administrator determined that a
reduction rent was warranted based upon a reduction in services.
The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the administrative appeal.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rents of various rent regulated apartments in the subject
On April 6, 1989, the tenants filed a building-wide complaint
alleging that the owner failed to maintain services in the subject
The owner filed an answer to the complaint, on May 8, 1989,
alleging that all services specified in the complaint were being
A DHCR inspection conducted on November 17, 1989, revealed the
1. The drain is clogged.
2. There is evidence of peeling paint and plaster and water
stains on sixth floor ceiling near elevator and around roof
3. Back yard is littered and has garbage accumulation.
4. Iron mesh gate on catwalk is missing.
The physical inspection also found the following services to be
1. Elevator is clean, functional, and does not need painting.
2. Entrance and vestibule door and locks are adequate.
3. Roof door is secured with two (2) barrel bolt lock.
4. No evidence of defective sidewalk.
5. No evidence of garbage accumulation. There is sufficient
number of garbage cans provided. Owner is required to provide
lids for garbage cans.
6. No evidence of dirty glass on entrance doors.
7. Garden and court yard areas are clean.
8. Lobby area is clean.
9. There is no evidence that fire escape needs painting.
10. Painting is adequate in all public areas of the building with
the exception of the sixth floor.
11. No evidence of vermin infestation.
12. Basement area, including laundry room is clean. No evidence
of discarded furniture or appliances in basement.
13. No evidence of deteriorated stairway at the North end of the
14. No evidence of defective door or lock on right side of main
15. Catwalk on North side of building is adequately lit.
16. Basement doors are provided with secure locks. Unauthorized
access cannot be obtained through basement.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
the four service items enumerated in the Rent Administrator's rent
reduction order were not specified in the tenants' complaint and as
a consequence thereof, the petitioner-owner was not given adequate
notice of the conditions and was deprived of its right to due
The petition was served on the tenants on May 31, 1990.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be granted.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) for 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.
Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations provides that
an owner's failure to maintain services may result in an order of
decrease in maximum rent, in an amount determined by the discretion
of the Rent Administrator.
The appealed order enumerated four service deficiencies as a
predicate for the reduction of rent but a review of the tenants'
complaint shows that these services were not cited in the
complaint. The tenants' complaint of April 6, 1989, failed to
specify clogged backyard drain, peeling paint, peeling plaster, and
water stains on the sixth floor ceiling near the elevator, garbage
accumulation and litter in the backyard or a missing iron mesh gate
on the catwalk.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the service deficiencies
cited in the appealed order were not delineated with sufficient
particularity in the complaint and that consequently, the
petitioner-owner was deprived of its right to due process.
Upon the facts determined herein, the Commissioner further finds
that the Rent Administrator erred by reducing the rent based upon
the owner's failure to maintain the four services specified in the
If the tenants are of the opinion that these services are
deficient, they may file a new services complaint with the
Any arrears due the owner from rent controlled tenants as a result
of this order shall be paid in equal installments at the amount of
the monthly rent reduction granted in the proceeding below, but
revoked herein. Any rent stabilized tenant who owes arrears may
pay off said arrears in twenty-four (24) equal monthly
installments. Any tenant who vacates owes arrears immediately.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and
Eviction Regulations for New York City, and the Rent Stabilization
Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is
granted, and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby, is revoked, in accordance with this order and opinion.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA