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 
          APPEAL OF                               ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                                  DOCKET NOS: FH410219-RO
          London Terrace Associates/              D.R.O. DOCKET NO: 
          Joe Grimes,                             FA410412-S
                                                  SUBJECT PREMISES:
                                                  410 West 24th Street,
                                                  Apt. No. 4F
                                                  New York, N.Y. 

                                   PETITIONER
          --------------------------------------x

          ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW AFTER 
                            REOPENING AND RECONSIDERATION

          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review of an order issued on July 18, 1991 concerning the housing 
          accommodation relating to the above-described docket number, 
          wherein the Administrator ordered a rent reduction based on a 
          finding that the owner had not provided or maintained certain 
          services.

          On January 31, 1992, the Commissioner issued an Order and Opinion 
          granting the owner's petition and revoking the Administrator's 
          order. 

          Subsequent thereto, the tenant requested reopening and 
          reconsideration of the Commissioner's order pursuant to Section 
          2529.9 of the Rent Stabilization Code.  The Division agreed to a 
          reopening of the proceeding for reconsideration of certain 
          evidence.

          The Commissioner has again reviewed all the evidence in the record 
          and has carefully reconsidered that portion relevant to the issues 
          raised in the petition.

          The tenant commenced this proceeding on January 22, 1991 by filing 
          a complaint with the Administrator in which she requested a 
          reduction based on the owner's failure to maintain various  












          Docket No. FH410219RO         - 2 -

          services, including a broken intercom and a boxed-off pipes' 
          installation which resulted in a loss of apartment space.

          In its answer filed on March 14, 1991, the owner denied the 
          allegations as set forth in the tenant's complaint and otherwise 
          asserted that as to the  broken intercom system, the "owner is 
          employing a substitute service, providing an equivalent degree of 
          security and convenience at no cost to the tenant"; that the 
          placement of the piping in the apartment was part of a building 
          renovation which was "the least intrusive and most practical under 
          the circumstances"; and that all other defective conditions have 
          been repaired.

          Thereafter, a physical inspection of the subject apartment was 
          conducted on May 6, 1991 by a DHCR staff member who reported that 
          the "intercom is broken and does not work"; and that where piping 
          had been installed and boxed off, the foyer lost 18" by 10" of area 
          space.  The DHCR investigator did not report the installation of a 
          substitute intercom system as alleged by the owner in its answer.

          Based on the inspector's report, the Administrator directed the 
          restoration of these services and further ordered a reduction of 
          the stabilized rent.

          In this petition, the owner contends that during emergencies, 
          "(a)partments in the building have been furnished with a speed 
          dialing system through which tenants can reach the lobby attendant 
          directly at a toll free number," and "tenant's phones have also 
          been equipped with a "call-waiting" feature so that they may be 
          reached by building personnel even when their telephone is 
          otherwise in use."  As to the placement of the plumbing pipes in 
          the apartment, the owner alleges in substance that the area "loss" 
          is de mimimis.

          A copy of the owner's petition was mailed to the tenant on October 
          7, 1991.  Although it is not clear why the Administrator's file 
          contains no tenant's answer, a careful review of certified mail 
          receipts submitted by the tenant along with her request for 
          reconsideration, taken together with a review of DHCR's certified 
          mail log, substantiates the tenant's contention that she in fact 
          submitted a timely answer to the owner's petition, denying that a 
          substitute intercom service has been installed and that a space 
          reduction for the pipes is de minimis.  The tenant alleges in her 
          answer to the owner's petition that she is charged for calling the 
          lobby attendant, there is neither call waiting nor a toll free 
          number.   The tenant further alleges that where the pipes now 
          occupy a "good part of the foyer" which once held her table and 
          where she has to eat meals presently at the coffee table in the 
          living room, a substantial diminution of dwelling space has 
          resulted.

          In reply, the owner reiterates its contentions in the petition,   






          Docket No. FH410219RO         - 3 -


          describing in detail its substitute for the intercom and "least 
          disruptive"  pipes installation.  

          After careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the owner's petition should be 
          denied and the Administrator's rent reduction order affirmed.

          The Administrator's order is correctly based on the physical 
          inspection of the subject apartment conducted on May 6, 1991 by a 
          DHCR staff member who reported that the "intercom is broken and 
          does not work"; and that where piping had been installed and boxed 
          off, the foyer lost 18" by 10" of area space.  The Commissioner 
          notes that the DHCR investigator did not report the installation of 
          a substitute system, for the intercom as alleged by the owner in 
          its answer; and that the tenant's answer to the petition as set 
          forth above in detail denied that a substitute service had been 
          installed and that the space reduction of the pipes is de minimis.  
          On the contrary, the tenant suffered substantial loss of dwelling 
          space when she had to transform her living room into a dining room.

          The Commissioner further notes that other decisions finding the 
          intercom operative are not dispositive in this case wherein an on- 
          site inspection confirmed a defective intercom per se or what 
          turned out to be defective at the time of inspection.

          Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly 
          based his determination on the entire record, including the results 
          of the on-site inspection conducted on May 6, 1991; and that 
          pursuant to Section 2523.4 (a) of the Code, the owner had failed to 
          maintain services.

          This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the owner's 
          right to file the appropriate application with the Division for 
          restoration of rent based upon the restoration of services, if the 
          facts so warrant.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
          it is

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

          ISSUED:

                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Acting Deputy Commissioner 







    

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