STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.:
Markland Estates, Inc.,
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On October 31, 1991, the above-named Petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
October 18, 1991, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 89-38 164th Street, Jamaica, N.Y., Apt. 1-H,
wherein the Administrator determined that a reduction in rent was
warranted based upon a reduction in services.
The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issue raised by the administrative appeal.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of the subject apartment.
On April 26, 1990, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the
owner failed to maintain services in the subject apartment.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint alleging that all
necessary repairs will be done on May 29, 1990.
A DHCR inspection conducted on October 2, 1991, revealed that
although several services were being maintained, the following
services were not being maintained:
(1) Floor covering/apartment wide.
(2) Closet door defective
(3) Vermin control apartment
(4) Refrigerator freezer door
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
all repairs were made in June, 1990; that the tenant failed to
request a rent reduction; that the Rent Administrator erred by
granting a rent reduction for items not specifically stated in the
complaint and that the DHCR failed to give it notice of the
The petition was served on the tenant on December 23, 1991 and on
January 8, 1992, the tenant filed an answer to the petition stating
that some repairs were made but that in the main the work was
completed in an unworkmanlike manner.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) for reduction of the legal regulated rent to the level in
effect prior to the most recent guidelines adjustment, and the DHCR
shall so reduce the rent for the period for which it is found that
the owner has failed to maintain required services.
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include
repairs and maintenance.
Concerning the petitioner-owner's argument that the Administrator
failed to give it notice of the inspection or the results, the
Commissioner finds that due process does not require that the owner
be informed that inspections are to take place or that it be sent
copies of the reports with an opportunity to rectify the condition
or to respond. The owner had adequate notice from the tenant's
complaint of conditions requiring its attention.
The Commissioner has also considered and rejects the petitioner's
claim on appeal that the required repairs were made prior to the
issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
A copy of the tenant's complaint was mailed to the owner on
May 10, 1990, and the Rent Administrator's order was issued on
October 18, 1991.
It is apparent that the owner had approximately seventeen (17)
months to attend to the complained-of conditions, but had failed to
do so prior to the issuance of the Rent Administrator's order. The
inspector's report clearly showed that even if the owner attempted
to correct the conditions prior to the issuance of the Rent
Administrator's order, it had failed to do so in a workmanlike
The Commissioner also finds that the owner's contentions on appeal
that the Rent Administrator erred by granting a rent reduction for
items not specified in the complaint and that the tenant failed to
request a reduction to be without basis.
A review of the record shows that the tenant's complaint adequately
specified all items noted in the Rent Administrator's rent
reduction order. The tenant's complaint specified that the owner
failed, among other things, to repair broken floor tiles in the
bathroom and the inspector's report, dated October 2, 1991,
revealed that broken floor tiles were in evidence.
Moreover, a review of the tenant's complaint shows, contrary to the
owner's allegations, that the tenant requested a rent reduction.
The fact that the owner produced complaint copies without such a
request designation is not dispositive.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds, that the Administrator
properly based his determination on the entire record, including
the results of the on-site physical inspection conducted on October
2, 1991, and that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the
Administrator was mandated to reduce the rent upon determining that
the owner had failed to maintain services.
Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply for
a rent restoration.
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.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of 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,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA