STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: EG130107RO
          LEON A. KATZ                            RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: DE130116B


               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 
          modified herein.

               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
                                             Deputy Commissioner


TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name