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.: EE410303RO
Neustadter Cohen, Goldberg
c/o Alexander Brett, Inc.,
DOCKET NO.: DD410674S
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On May 24, 1990, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition
for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on April 19,
1990, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 44 West 62nd Street, Apt. 26E, New York,
N.Y., wherein the Administrator determined that a reduction in rent
was warranted based upon a reduction in services.
The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
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.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of the subject apartment.
On April 5, 1989, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the
owner failed to maintain sundry services throughout the subject
The owner filed an answer to the complaint, on October 24, 1989,
alleging that despite the tenant's assertions, there are no service
deficiencies in the subject apartment and that despite its timely
attempts to make repairs, the tenant has been extremely
uncooperative in providing access to its workmen; always cancelling
appointments and harassing the workmen.
A DHCR inspection conducted on April 2, 1990, revealed that
although a number of services were restored by the owner, the
following services were not being maintained:
1. The floor tiles are loose in several places
2. Kitchen ventilation not working.
3. Hallway baseboard loose.
4. Kitchen light fixture globe missing.
5. Bathroom sink basin cracked.
6. On the side next to tub vanity wallpaper is falling off.
7. Hallway closet shelf is loose, wall support is shaky.
8. Living room window part of frame is loose.
9. Kitchen lower oven door does not close properly, heat
escapes and the gasket on the inside of the door is
broken and paint is missing.
10. Kitchen upper oven gasket broken and parts missing, oven
door flies open after (18) to (20) minutes of the oven
having been turned on.
11. Smoke alarm not working.
12. Front door alarm does not function.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
the tenant has, over a course of eight months, obstructed it from
inspecting and correcting complained of service conditions and has
denied it access to the subject apartment.
The petition was served on the tenant on June 21, 1990, and on the
same day the tenant filed an answer to the petition stating that
access was not denied to the owner at any time without reasonable
basis. The tenant further alleged that the only time access was
denied was during periods of serious illness.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of 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.
The Commissioner notes that the access issue is one that permeates
the entire proceeding and that the evidence in the file fails to
corroborate the owner's assertions below and on appeal that it was
deprived of access to the subject apartment.
The record under review shows that the DHCR inspector gained access
to the subject apartment on March 20, 1990 and April 2, 1990
without tenant interference.
The DHCR inspector determined that although some services were not
being maintained, various repairs had been completed, as of April
On this basis, the Commissioner finds that access was previously
achieved; thus belying the owner's assertion that the tenant
constantly deprived its workers of access to the subject apartment.
The Commissioner takes note of letter copies in the file from M. J.
Raynes Inc., MJR Development Corp., and Soly Baredes M.D., which
purport to show the owner's willingness to make repairs or the
tenant's unwillingness to furnish access due to medical necessity.
The Commissioner finds, however, that these letters are
respectively dated January 5, 1988 and January 18, 1988, which
predates the filing of the complaint on April 4, 1989.
Accordingly, these letters have no evidentiary value in this
The inspector's report clearly showed the existence of twelve (12)
service deficiencies which the owner failed to address and on this
basis, the Commissioner finds that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's
The Commissioner further finds, that the Administrator properly
based his determination on the entire record, including the results
of the on-site physical inspection conducted on April 2, 1990, and
that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the Administrator
was mandated to reduce the rent upon determining that the owner had
failed to maintain services.
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted
by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this
order and opinion.
Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply for
a rent restoration.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA