FJ410194.RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                                  92-31 UNION HALL
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433





          ------------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE          ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                                    DOCKET NO.:
                                                       FJ410194RO
                    Sulzberger-Rolfe, Inc.,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.:
                                                       FC410749S
                                   PETITIONER
          ------------------------------------x



            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On October 15, 1991, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on 
          September 24, 1991, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the 
          housing accommodation known as 905 West End Avenue, New York, N.Y., 
          Apt. #53, 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 March 25, 1991, the tenant filed an individual tenant's 
          complaint alleging that the owner failed to maintain services in 
          the subject apartment.

          The owner filed an answer to the complaint alleging that the 
          instant individual services complaint should be consolidated with 
          a prior building-wide complaint filed by most of the tenants in the 
          building and further that with regard to the subject complaint, the 
          owner is investigating the matter and will render any  needed 
          repairs.  
          A DHCR inspection conducted on August 23, 1991, revealed that there 
          is no cold-water service in the kitchen, only warm water, and that 












          FJ410194.RO

          the windows throughout the apartment were in need of caulking.  The 
          report also confirmed that sundry services were being maintained by 
          the owner.

          On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that 
          cold water is not a rent reducing service item because this is a 
          sporadic condition and there are no standards requiring a certain 
          temperature for cold water; that window caulking services were not 
          being provided because new windows were in the process of being 
          installed throughout the building and further that it was entitled 
          to notice of the inspection findings before a rent reduction order 
          could be issued.

          The petition was served on the tenant on November 19, 1991, and on 
          December 11, 1991, the tenant filed an answer to the petition 
          stating that the mixing valve replacement did not resolve his 
          complaint about sporadic water pressure, that an adequate supply of 
          cold water is a required service that is still not being provided, 
          and that the owner did not correct the window caulking problem.

          After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative 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 
          claims on appeal that cold water is not a rent reducing service 
          item and that window-caulking services were not provided because 
          new windows were being installed throughout the building.


          The Commissioner notes that the owner's answer filed below stated 
          that the owner will render any and all needed repairs.  However, a 
          review of the record shows that this promise was not kept.  The 
          inspector determined that cold water and window-caulking services 






          FJ410194.RO

          were not being maintained.

          The absence of cold water in an apartment is a rent reducing 
          service item requiring the owner's immediate attention; and the 
          mere fact that the owner is installing new windows throughout the 
          building does not excuse the owner from maintaining window-caulking 
          services during the installation.

          The Commissioner also finds that it is within the sole discretion 
          of the Administrator to consolidate proceedings brought before him.  
          In the instant proceeding the services specified in the subject 
          complaint were services exclusively pertaining to the individual 
          tenant's apartment and were separate and distinct from the services 
          specified in the building-wide complaint, under Docket No. 
          EL430059B, which affected the entire building.  Accordingly, 
          consolidation of both proceedings is not necessary for a 
          determination of the issues.

          Clearly, the owner has offered insufficient reason to disturb the 
          Rent Administrator's determination.

          The Commissioner further finds that the Administrator properly 
          based his determination on the entire record, including the results 
          of the on-site physical inspection conducted on August 23, 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.

          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.

          Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply for 
          a rent restoration.

          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, 
          affirmed.
            
          ISSUED:
                                                                           
                                             Joseph A. D'Agosta
                                             Deputy Commissioner  






    

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