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.: EL 520155-RT
DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
YVETTE E. ATLAS DOCKET NO.: EH 520255-S
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
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
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.