STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: EG130107RO
LEON A. KATZ RENT
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On July 11, 1990 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued June 8, 1990. The order concerned various
housing accommodations located at 40-71 Elbertson Street, Elmhurst,
N.Y. The Administrator directed restoration of services and
ordered a rent reduction for failure to maintain required services.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully
considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this
This proceeding was commenced on May 22, 1989 when 62 tenants
in this 106 unit building joined in filing a Statement of Complaint
of Decrease in Building-Wide Services wherein they alleged, in sum,
that the owner was not maintaining certain required building-wide
services. Specifically, they asserted that the elevator was
subject to frequent breakdowns and the public hallway windows are
defective in that they do not close properly and some are broken.
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded
an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on July 11,
1989 and stated, in sum, that the cracked window panes are being
replaced and that all other required services are being maintained.
The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject
building. The inspection was conducted on January 26, 1990 and
revealed the following:
1. Elevators on both sides of building do not stop
level on each floor,
2. Defective public area windows on both sides of
All other services were found to have been maintained.
The Administrator ordered a rent reduction of $7.00 per month
for rent controlled tenants and of an amount equal to the
percentange of the most recent guidelines adjustment for rent
stabilized tenant leases which commenced before July 1, 1989.
On appeal the owner states, in relevant part, that the tenants
never complained about problems with elevator leveling but, rather,
stated that the elevator was subject to frequent breakdowns. With
regard to the hallway windows, the owner argues that the order
hereunder review does not specify in what manner the windows are
defective and further states that it was never afforded an
opportunity to examine the above described inspection report to
ascertain this information. The petition was served on the tenants
on August 30, 1990 and again on September 4, 1990.
One tenant filed a response on September 18, 1990 and stated,
in sum, that the fact that the elevators do not stop level on each
floor is a decrease in services for which the tenants are entitled
to a rent reduction. With regard to the windows, the tenant states
that the DHCR fulfilled its obligations by serving a copy of the
complaint on the owner.
After careful review of the evidence in the record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted
in part and the order hereunder review should be affirmed as
With regard to the hallway windows, the Commissioner is of the
opinion that the owner was adequately put on notice of the
existence of defects in the windows including the fact that some of
them failed to close properly and were broken. These allegations
were corroborated by the inspector. The Administrator correctly
reduced the rent for this condition.
The finding and rent reduction regarding the elevator is
revoked. The owner is correct in that the tenants never complained
about elevator leveling problems but, instead, stated that the
elevator was subject to frequent breakdowns. The inspector did not
corroborate the tenants' complaint, finding that the elevator was
operational. Reducing the rent based on the leveling condition
penalized the owner when it was not on notice of the condition.
The rent reduction ordered for rent controlled tenants is
modified to order a rent reduction of $4.00 per month. The rent
reduction ordered for rent stabilized tenants is affirmed. With
regard to rent stabilized tenants, the automatic stay of the
retroactive rent abatement which resulted from the filing of this
petition is vacated upon issuance of this order and opinion.
The Commissioner notes that the owner's application for rent
restoration (Docket No. EJ130107OR) has been granted by the
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and
Rent and Eviction Regulations 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, affirmed as modified herein. Any rent
controlled tenant who owes arrears based on the Commissioner's
decision herein may pay off said arrears in installments of $3.00
per month or immediately if the tenant vacates.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA