FG130376RO, et al.                          
                                    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
          APPEALS OF                              DOCKET NOS.:             
                                                  FG130376RO;  FH110164RT;
                    MARGARET PECORA,                FH110165RT;  HA130212RO

                             Petitioner-Owner

                     ROBERTA ECKES                RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                           &                      DOCKET NOS.:
                  CAROLANN ZABROWSKI,             FA130003HW;  FA130032B

                           Petitioner Tenants      
          ----------------------------------x



            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                          

          The above-named petitioner-owner and tenants filed timely petitions 
          for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on July 16, 1991 
          per Docket No. FA130003HW concerning the housing accommodations 
          known as 42-70 156th Street, Queens, New York, various apartments, 
          wherein the Administrator determined the tenants' complaint of 
          inadequate heat and hot water.

          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review of an order issued on January 26, 1993 per Docket No. 
          FA130032B concerning the subject premises wherein the Rent Admin- 
          istrator determined the tenants' complaint of a reduction of 
          various building-wide services.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and 
          has carefully considered those portions of the records relevant to 
          the issues raised by the petitions.             

          The tenants commenced these proceedings by filing a complaint as- 
          serting that the owner had failed to maintain certain services in 
          the subject building in that the front doors were not locked, that 
          the on-premises superintendent was frequently unavailable and that 
          heat and hot water services were frequently inadequate.














          FG130376RO, et al.                          



          The Rent Administrator segregated the tenants' heat and hot water 
          complaint for separate and immediate processing per Docket No. 
          FA130003HW.  The Rent Administrator served the tenants' complaint 
          per Docket No. FA130003HW on the owner on January 15, 1991.

          In an answer received on February 1, 1991, the owner responded that 
          adequate heat and hot water were provided. The owner also responded 
          to the other complaints, stating that a new entrance door and frame 
          had been installed on December 1990 and that superintendent ser- 
          vices were adequate.

          Inspections were conducted on March 6 and 11, 1991 to investigate 
          the tenants' heat and hot water complaint.  The Division of Housing 
          and Community Renewal (DHCR) inspector reported that heat was 
          adequate in the apartments checked.  However, inadequate hot water 
          temperatures were found in apartments 2AR, 2ER, 1BL and 2DL.

          The Rent Administrator directed restoration of hot water services 
          and rent reductions for these four apartments.  No rent reductions 
          were found to be warranted for the other apartments checked.

          The tenants' complaint was re-served on the owner per Docket No. 
          FA130032B on October 30, 1992.  There is no record of a response 
          from the owner.

          An inspection of the subject premises was conducted on January 6, 
          1993, by a DHCR inspector who reported that the "door lock vesti- 
          bule" (i.e., the vestibule door lock) was defective in that it did 
          not lock and that there was no lock on the main entrance door.

          The Rent Administrator directed the owner to restore the services 
          and, further, ordered a building-wide rent reduction.

          In its petition for administrative review of the order per Docket 
          No. FA130003HW, the owner states his belief that the inadequate hot 
          water condition found in the four apartments was due to the fact 
          that some tenants have washing machines that use the available hot 
          water more rapidly.

          The tenants' petitions of the order per Docket No. FA130003HW state 
          only that no one was at home to give the inspector access to their 
          apartments to check the heat and hot water.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that both the owner's and the tenants' administrative appeals of 
          the order per Docket No. FA130003HW should be denied.










          FG130376RO, et al.                          

          The owner's suggestion on appeal that the inadequate hot water 
          condition was due to the tenants' use of washing machines cannot be 
          considered.  As it was not presented to the Rent Administrator for 
          his consideration, it is beyond the scope of review, which is lim- 
          ited to issues and evidence presented below. 

          The tenants' petitions do not set forth and establish any error of 
          law or fact in the proceedings below.  The Commissioner further 
          notes that failure to provide access to the agency inspector is 
          sufficient reason to deny the relief requested or to terminate the 
          proceedings as to those tenants that failed to provide access.

          The Commissioner also finds that the owner's petition for admin- 
          istrative review of the Rent Administrator's order per Docket No. 
          FA130032B, granting building-wide rent reductions predicated on a 
          finding of a defective "door lock vestibule" should, likewise, be 
          denied.

          The owner's statement, set forth in the petition and in the owner's 
          response per Docket No. FA130003HW that a new entrance door and 
          frame had been installed in December 1990, fails to address and 
          rebut the tenants' subsequent January 1991 complaint, confirmed by 
          the January 1993 inspection in the proceedings per Docket No. 
          FA130032B, concerning the absence of an operative door lock in the 
          building entranceway resulting in unauthorized access to the  
          stairwell.

          The owner's argument that the damage was due to vandalism ignores 
          that the owner has a continuing obligation to correct the condi- 
          tions as the need arises.  

          Concerning the owner's objection to processing the complaints under 
          separate dockets, the Commissioner notes that the order and opinion 
          per Docket No. FA130003HW was segregated to provide expeditious 
          processing of the potentially hazardous emergency conditions 
          involving lack of adequate heat and hot water, while permitting 
          processing of the less serious complaints in due course.  It is 
          noted that segregating heat and hot water complaints from other 
          alleged conditions reflects normal agency practice.  Also, the Rent 
          Administrator's order per Docket No. FA130003HW set forth that the 
          proceedings therein involved the tenants' complaint of inadequate 
          heat and hot water services.

          The owner's suspicion that the DHCR issued the order per Docket No. 
          FA130032B without an inspection is without merit and belied by the 
          record, which is available for examination by the parties by filing 
          a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) application.



          Evidence of repairs submitted by the owner for the first time on 
          appeal could not be considered as it was beyond the scope of 












          FG130376RO, et al.                          

          review, which is strictly limited to the evidence and issues 
          presented to the Rent Administrator for his consideration.

          The DHCR records show that the Rent Administrator issued a rent 
          restoration order on June 5, 1992 per Docket No. FI130140OR based 
          on a finding that the inadequate heat conditions cited in the order 
          per Docket No. FA130003HW had been corrected.

          The owner may file an application to restore rent previously re- 
          duced per Docket No. FA130032B if the facts so warrant.

          The automatic stays of the retroactive rent abatements that 
          resulted by the filing of these petitions are vacated upon issuance 
          of this Order and Opinion.


          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
          and the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, it is

          ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are denied, 
          and that the Rent Administrator's orders be, and the same hereby
          are, affirmed.


          ISSUED:




                                                                           
                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                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