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

     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: EL 520155-RT
                                            DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
       YVETTE E. ATLAS                      DOCKET NO.: EH 520255-S
                           PETITIONER    : 


     On  December  5,  1990,  the  above-named  tenant  filed  a  petition  for
     administrative review of an order issued on November 6, 1990,  by  a  Rent
     Administrator concerning the housing accommodation known as  Apartment  5,
     452 Fort Washington Avenue,  New  York,  New  York  wherein  the  tenant's
     application for a rent reduction based upon an  alleged  a  diminution  of
     service was denied.

     The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the  record  and  has
     carefully considered that portion of the record  relevant  to  the  issues
     raised by the petition for review.

     On August 13, 1990 the subject tenant, filed an  application  for  a  rent
     reduction based  on  the  owner's  alleged  failure  to  maintain  service
     alleging that her apartment had no hot water from June 13 to 19, 1990  and
     no gas from June 13 to July 16, 1990.

     On August 30,  1990  the  owner  interposed  an  answer  to  the  tenant's
     complaint wherein it alleged,

               There was a gas leak in  the  building,  which  necessitated
          the closing of the gas, in the entire building,  by  Con  Edison.
          A licensed plumber was called and worked  with  Con  Edison.   He
          was required to perform a test to locate  the  leak,  repair  the
          defective pipes and then test the entire building.  Since he  had
          to obtain access to each and every  apartment  on  at  least  two
          occasions, this job took  several  weeks  to  do.   The  gas  was
          restored  on  July  10,  1990,  and  all  gas   appliances   were
          connected by July 12.  The hot water was also  shut  down  during
          the first several days, because gas is used to preheat  the  oil.
          An alternate gas supply was put into place in  order  to  restore
          the hot water.

     On October 15, 1990 a physical inspection of  the  subject  apartment  was
     carried out by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).   The
     inspector, in his report, noted that  hot  water  and  gas  services  were


          DOCKET NUMBER: EL 520155-RT
     On November 6, 1990 the Rent Administrator issued  the  order  here  under
     review  finding  that  services  were  being   maintained,   denying   the
     application, and terminating the proceeding.

     In her petition for administrative review the tenant requests modification 
     of the administrator's order and requests a rent reduction for the  period
     June 9 to June 18, 1990.

     After careful consideration the Commissioner is of the opinion  that  this
     petition should be denied.

     The Commissioner notes that the temporary  interruption  of  gas  and  hot
     water service necessitated by the effectuation of repairs in the  building
     had already  been  corrected  at  the  time  that  the  tenant  filed  her

     The tenant, in her petition seeks a  rent  reduction  for  that  nine  day
     period of time, June 9, 1990 to June 18, 1990.

     Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations provides in pertinent 

               The administrator may order a decrease of the  maximum  rent
          otherwise allowable,  or  take  action  as  provided  in  section
          2202.19  of  this  Part,  where  there  has  been  a  substantial
          deterioration  of  the  housing  accommodations  because  of  the
          failure of the landlord to properly maintain the same,  or  there
          has been a decrease in the dwelling  space,  essential  services,
          furniture,  furnishings  or  equipment  required  under   section
          2201.2  of  this  Title...The  maximum  rent  for   the   housing
          accommodation  shall  be  decreased  by  that  amount  which  the
          administrator finds to be the reduction in the  rental  value  of
          the   housing   accommodation   because   of   the    substantial
          deterioration or decrease in dwelling space, essential  services,
          furniture, furnishings  or  equipment.   The  administrator  may,
          however, take into  consideration  all  factors  bearing  on  the
          equities involved.

     The record indicates that the administrator took  into  consideration  all
     factors bearing on  the  equities  involved  in  the  instant  matter  and
     determined that the nature of scope of the complained of condition did not 
     amount to a substantial deterioration or diminution of service giving rise 
     to a reduction of the rental value of the accommodation.

     Moreover the Commissioner notes  that  Section  2202.2  of  the  Rent  and
     Eviction Regulations provides in pertinent part,

               Effective  date  of  orders  adjusting  rents.    No   order
          increasing or  decreasing  maximum  rent  previously  established
          pursuant to these regulations shall be  effective  prior  to  the
          date on which the order is issued...

     Since the complained of conditions did not exist on the date  of  issuance
     of the administrator's order,  the  administrator  could  not  reduce  the
     tenant's rent prospectively and since Section 2202.2 prohibited the 


          DOCKET NUMBER: EL 520155-RT
     administrator from reducing  the  rent  retroactively,  the  administrator
     correctly did not authorize a rent reduction.

     Further, under the Rent and Eviction Regulations rent reductions  are  not
     mandatory but discretionary.  There is no evidence that the  administrator
     abused discretion.  Accordingly, the Commissioner  finds  that  the  order
     under review was warranted and should be affirmed.

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent and Eviction  Regulations  for  New
     York City, 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.


                                             ELLIOT SANDER
                                           Deputy Commissioner


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