DOCKET NO.:  EJ 810144-RO
                              STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK  11433




      --------------------------------------X
      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
                             PETITIONER     :                
      --------------------------------------X 


            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 
      facilities.

      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 
      the parties.

      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.

      ISSUED:


                                                                                
                                                      JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                  Acting Deputy Commissioner
       
    

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