DOCKET NO.: EJ 810144-RO
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. EJ 810144-RO
: DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
DEMETRIOUS KRINGAS, DOCKET NO. ODF-8-1-0042-S
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
AND REMANDING PROCEEDING
On October 12, 1990, the above-named owner filed a petition for
administrative review of an order issued on September 10, 1990, by the
District Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodation known as
Apartment 1, 149 Webber Avenue, Tarrytown, New York, wherein the owner was
directed to restore laundry room service.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and has
carefully considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by the
petition for review.
On June 2, 1989 the subject tenant filed an application for a rent reduction
based on the owner's alleged failure to maintain services, alleging that the
laundry room was closed by the owner in 1985 and that the tenant previously
had had access to the laundry room since he moved into the building in 1968.
On June 19, 1989 the owner interposed an answer to the tenant's complaint
wherein he alleged, inter alia, that the tenant's permission to use the
laundry room was terminable at the landlord's option. Attached to the
answer was a copy of the tenant's prior lease providing in clause 20(7)
"Laundry machine... Landlord may stop their use at any time."
On September 10, 1990 the District Rent Administrator issued the order here
under review directing the owner to restore laundry room service.
In his petition for administrative review the owner requests reversal of the
administrator's order alleging, inter alia, that the laundry facility in
question was never a service included in the rent but, on the contrary, the
tenant was from time to time allowed, on particular occasions, to use these
After careful consideration the Commissioner is of the opinion that this
petition should be granted, and this proceeding should be remanded.
9 NYCRR Section 2500.12 (Section 2500.12 of the Tenant Protection
Regulations [TPR]) states that "an agreement by the tenant to waive the
DOCKET NO.: EJ 810144-RO
benefit of any provision of the Act or these Regulations is void."
Therefore, the tenant's waiver by signing of the prior lease containing
clause 20(7) would be void unless the lease in effect on the Base Date
(effective date of the subject premises coming under the jurisdiction of the
Tenant Protection Regulations) also contained a provision allowing the owner
to discontinue the laundry service, and such a provision (similar to clause
20(7) in the instant lease) was included in each succeeding lease.
In the instant case the Administrator did not determine whether or not the
lease of the subject premises in effect on the Base Date, and all subsequent
leases, contained such a provision. The Commissioner thus directs that the
proceeding be remanded to the Administrator, so that the Administrator may
obtain evidence concerning the existence of any provisions in former leases
as indicated above, which would allow the owner to thus discontinue the
laundry room service.
The owner is notified that if upon remand the Administrator, after examining
the base date lease and all subsequent leases finds that the owner cannot
unilaterally discontinue the laundry room service, the owner nonetheless can
file an application pursuant to TPR Section 2502.4(b) to reduce services in
return for a rent decrease based upon a mutual voluntary agreement between
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Tenant Protection Regulations, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted, and that
this proceeding be, and the same hereby is, remanded to the Administrator
for further consideration. Upon remand, the Administrator is directed to
obtain evidence concerning the lease of the subject premises in effect on
the Base Date and all subsequent leases of the subject premises, and to
determine whether or not the above-mentioned leases contain clauses similar
to clause 20(7) in nature and intent, i.e., clauses that allow the owner to
discontinue the laundry room service. If the Administrator finds such
leases, the Administrator is directed to deny the tenant's complaint; if the
Administrator fails to find such leases, the Administrator is directed to
grant the relief requested in tenant's complaint.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner