FI530353RO

                                  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
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:  FI530353RO
                                                  
          BIG POND REALTY CORP                    RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: DJ530109B
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            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 
          appeal.

               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 












          FI530353RO

          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 
          reports.

               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 
          No. GF430073RO.
            






          FI530353RO

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code 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.

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                                   






    

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