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.: FI530353RO
BIG POND REALTY CORP RENT
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On October 2, 1991 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued August 27, 1991. The order concerned various
housing accommodations located at 1 Convent Avenue, New York, N.Y.
The Administrator directed restoration of services and ordered a
rent reduction for failure to maintain required services.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully
considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this
This proceeding was commenced on October 27, 1989 when tenants
of 15 of the 25 apartments in the subject building filed a
Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide Services
wherein they alleged that the owner was not maintaining certain
required services and requested a rent reduction. The tenants
stated, in relevant part, that there was no lock on the building
entrance door and that the door jammed when it was locked.
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded
an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on December
11, 1989 and stated, also in relevant part, that there is a
multilock on the entrance door that functions properly.
The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject
building. The inspection was conducted on December 12, 1990 and
revealed that the entrance door had been removed, that the
vestibule door lock and buzzer release mechanisms were defective
and that certain mailbox locks were either broken or loose. All
other services complained of were found to have been maintained.
On May 7, 1991 the Administrator sent the owner a notice
wherein it was informed of the conditions described above and
afforded an opportunity to make repairs and submit proof to the
DHCR. The owner filed a response on May 24, 1991 and stated, in
sum, that there is only one door to enter the subject building,
that the lock is operating and is not defective and that several
tenants have deliberately broken the lock in the past.
The Administrator ordered another physical inspection of the
building which was conducted on July 19, 1991. The inspector
reported that the vestibule door lock was still defective.
The Administrator issued the order here under review on August
27, 1991 and ordered a rent reduction of an amount equal to one
guideline increase based on the above described inspector's
On appeal the owner states that the vestibule door lock has
been consistently repaired and that the reason it is continually
broken relates to acts of vandalism carried out by the tenants.
The owner submits a list of repairs done to the lock with dates,
amounts expended and the company who did the work. Copies of the
paid bills are also attached to the petition. The petition was
served on the tenants on January 28, 1992.
After careful review of the evidence in the record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.
The Commissioner notes that, pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the
Rent Stabilization Code, tenants may apply to the DHCR for a rent
reduction based on the owner's failure to maintain required
services and the agency shall reduce the rent if it is established
that such services have been reduced. Repairs and maintenance are
included within the statutory definition of required services. The
commissioner finds that the Administrator based this determination
on the entire record including the results of the two on-site
physical inspections described above. The owner has failed to
rebut these reports. It has been consistently held by the
Commissioner that acts of tenant vandalism do not excuse the owner
from its duty to maintain required services. The owner must take
whatever measures are necessary to deal with the vandalism problem.
The order here under review was correctly issued and must be
affirmed. The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement
that resulted by the filing of this petition is vacated upon
issuance of this order and opinion.
The Commissioner notes that the owner's application for rent
restoration (Docket No. FJ430091OR) was denied on May 8, 1992 that
a reapplication, which was assigned Docket No. HA530118OR, was
filed by the owner and that the Commissioner has ordered rent
restoration effective December 1, 1991 in an order bearing Docket
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it
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.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA