EL 430202 RT
                                
                        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.: EL 430202 RT

     RICHARD MACSHERRY                  DISTRICT RENT
     CHRISTIAN SPILSBURY                ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
                                        NO.: EG 430152 B
                        PETITIONER
----------------------------------x


  ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                
      On  December  18,  1990 the above named  petitioner-tenants
filed  a  Petition for Administrative Review against an order  of
the  Rent  Administrator  issued December  4,  1990.   The  order
concerned housing accommodations located at 97 Fifth Avenue,  New
York, N.Y. wherein the Administrator ordered a building-wide rent
reduction for failure to maintain required or essential services.

      The  Commissioner  has reviewed the  record  and  carefully
considered  that portion relevant to the issues  raised  by  this
appeal.

      The tenants commenced this proceeding by filing a Statement
of  Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide Services on  July  22,
1990.  They alleged the following services deficiencies:

          1.   Newspapers  not removed from trash  room  creating
               fire hazard
          
          2.   Tiles in Apt. 4A bathroom never regrouted
          
          3.   Mice in building
          
          4.   No smoke alarms in apartments
          
          5.   Asbestos in basement
          
          6.   Third  floor  stairwell door locked  from  hallway
               preventing exit in case of fire
          7.   Garbage  frequently left in elevator  for  several
               hours
          
          8.   Lack  of mail delivery due to piles of garbage  in
               lobby
          
          9.   Broken front entry door
          
         10.   Entrance to building unlit for several months
     
         11.   Ceramic  tiles on walls and floor of  front  lobby
               broken and crumbling
     
         12.   Elevator  cab knocks into shaft walls;  inspection
               information  not posted; elevator  cab  has  tiles
               missing and interior walls are broken and graffiti-
               covered
     
         13.   Eighth floor tiles loose and detached
     
         14.   Hallways in need of painting
     
         15.   Washing  machine at top of stairwell  inoperative;
               light fixture in laundry room broken
     
The tenants also complained that trash was left on the roof, that
water  was  standing in crevices where the roof tar had  buckled,
that  the  basement  floods after it rains  sending  sewage  into
apartment tubs and sink drains, that the mail boxes do not  close
properly and that the intercom system is faulty.

     The complaint was served on the owner and an opportunity was
afforded to reply thereto.

      The  owner submitted a reply on August 14, 1990 and  stated
the following:

          1.   Newspapers  removed  from  trash  rooms  on   days
               announced to tenants
          
          2.   Tiles  in  bathroom of Apt. 4A will  be  regrouted
               when tenant makes appointment
          
          3.   Exterminator  available to deal  with  infestation
               assuming access given by tenants
          
          4.   Smoke alarms available for installation if tenants
               contact superintendent
          
          5.   Owner  unaware  of asbestos in basement;  basement
               rented to restaurant
          
          6.   Third floor stairwell exit working properly
          
          7.   Elevators and hallways cleaned on regular basis
          
          8.   Front door lock repaired
          
          9.   Elevator maintained by service company
          
         10.   Washing machines repaired
     
         11.   Sewage  back-up caused by problem with restaurant.
               Problem has been corrected
     
         12.   Light bulbs replaced when they burn out
     
         13.   Mail boxes operate properly
     
         14.   Intercom working properly
     
         15.   Hole  in  eighth floor ceiling repaired.   Hallway
               scheduled to be painted.


      On  August  21, 1990 the Administrator sent the  tenants  a
Request for Additional Information regarding the following:

          1.   The unlocked trash room on the eighth floor
          
          2.   The stairwell door constantly open to the lobby
          
          3.   The  door  to  the elevator penthouse,  which  the
               tenants stated was propped open
          
          4.   Problems referred to on other floors to which  the
               tenants  who prepared the complaint said  they  do
               not have access.
          
On September 8, 1990 the tenants responded as follows:

          1.   The  trash room door was repaired and everyone  on
               the floor now has a key
          
          2.   The stairwell door in question is inside the lobby
               vestibule, near the elevator.  There is  a  locked
               door  to the street but that door is often  broken
               and access can be gained to the building
          
          3.   All tenants have access to the roof.  The elevator
               gear  mechanism is accessible to the public posing
               a  hazard.   The  door  to the elevator  mechanism
               should be secured.
          
          4.   The  elevator  requires a separate  key  for  each
               floor;  everyone in the building has a key to  the
               eighth floor providing access to the laundry  room
               and  roof; the superintendent has a master key  to
               the  elevator; the doors to the interior stairwell
               (fire exit) are locked
          
      The  Administrator  ordered a physical  inspection  of  the
building.  The inspection was conducted on November 8,  1990  and
revealed the following:

          1.   Accumulation of newspapers throughout trash room
          
          2.   Large  holes  in ceilings with exposed  pipes  and
               peeling  paint and plaster on fourth, seventh  and
               eighth floors in and near trash rooms
          
          3.   Defective  roof--tar paper has cracks,  holes  and
               air bubbles
          
          4.   Dirty roof area
          
          5.   Public area walls dirty
          
          6.   Loose detached floor tile on eighth floor
          
          7.   Fire exit stairwells dirty throughout building
          
          8.   Elevator shaft bulkhead room unlocked and contains
               flammable  materials; walls  and  ceiling  cracked
               with  peeling  paint and plaster;  skylight  glass
               broken
          
          9.   Ceramic  tiles  in  north wall  of  lobby  and  in
               vestibule  and  lobby floors broken,  cracked  and
               crumbling
          
         10.   Dirty laundry room
     
         11.   Rodent  infestation  in  public  areas,  including
               laundry
     
         12.   Evidence   of  flooding  and  sewage  back-up   in
               basement
     
         13.   Entrance door glass dirty
     
The following services were found to have been maintained:

          1.   Safety exit at third floor stairwell unlocked
          
          2.   No garbage in elevator
          
          3.   No  sound  of scraping metal in elevator; elevator
               stops on all floors
          
          4.   No accumulation of garbage in lobby area
          
          5.   Entrance and vestibule door locks operative
          
          6.   Public area windows clean
          
          7.   Washing machine and dryer operative
          
          8.   Light fixture in laundry room operative
          
The  Administrator  advised  the  tenants  to  refer  any  issues
regarding  defective  exterior  lights  to  the  New  York   City
Department of Code Enforcement.  With regard to complaints  about
mailboxes  and intercoms, the Administrator directed the  tenants
to file individual apartment complaints.

     On appeal, the tenants state that certain items set forth in
the  Administrator's  order were incomplete.   Specifically,  the
petitioner's state that the elevator cab knocks into the walls of
the  shaft, that there is no inspection information posted in the
elevator, that elevator floor tiles are broken and missing,  that
the  interior walls of the elevator cab are scratched and  marked
with  graffiti,  that the elevator trap door  is  disintegrating,
that  there is a problem with the entrance door lock in  that  it
does  not  engage, and that the inspector's report did  not  deal
with  the issue of broken and missing floor tiles in the entrance
and lobby.

      The  owner filed a response on January 16, 199l wherein  it
stated that the elevator cab was working properly and was in  the
process  of being renovated.  The owner claimed that the graffiti
was  placed there by the tenants.  With regard to the  door,  the
owner stated that it locked properly.

      After  careful  review of the evidence in the  record,  the
Commissioner  is  of  the  opinion that the  petition  should  be
denied.

     With regard to the issues of the door and entrance and lobby
tiles,  the  Commissioner finds that the inspector's  report  was
dispositive  of the tenants' complaints.  The inspector  reported
that  ceramic  tiles in the vestibule floor and  lobby  area  are
broken, cracked and crumbling.  The inspector also reported  that
the  building  entrance doors were closed but not locked  at  the
time  of  inspection and that the door was not  equipped  with  a
lock.   Additionally, the inspector noted that the vestibule  was
both  closed  and  locked  at the time of  the  inspection.   The
Commissioner finds that the Administrator correctly made findings
in  the  order here under review which were consistent  with  the
above report.

      With regard to the issue of the elevator, the Commissioner,
after  a  careful review of the record, found that there was  not
sufficient detail regarding the tenant's complaints. Accordingly,
an  additional  inspection was ordered on March  23,  1992.   The
inspector reported the following:

          1.   Inspection record posted in elevator
          
          2.   Elevator floor tiles repaired
          
          3.   No  evidence of scratches or graffiti on  elevator
               walls
          
          4.   Elevator ceiling trap properly installed.
          
Based  on  the above report, the Commissioner is of  the  opinion
that the order here under review should be affirmed.

      THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and  Code
it is,

      ORDERED,  that  this petition be, and the same  hereby  is,
denied, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the  same
hereby is, affirmed.

ISSUED:



                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                Acting 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