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.:
JOSE NUNEZ, RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
PETITIONER PREMISES: 511 W. 175 St.
----------------------------------x New York, NY 10033
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 20, 1991, the above-named petitioner-tenant filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on
June 5, 1991 by a Rent Administrator concerning the above housing
accommodations wherein the Administrator determined that the
owner had maintained services and accordingly reduced the rents.
The issue on appeal is whether the Administrator's order was
The applicable law is Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization
The tenant originally commenced the proceedings by filing a
complaint of decrease in apartment services which was received
by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) on
January 18, 1991. Enclosed with the complaint was a letter from
an agent of a tenant's association which contended that the
complaint had originally been filed on November 28, 1989. The
DHCR mailed the complaint to the owner on February 8, 1991.
The owner failed to submit an answer.
Thereafter an inspection of the subject apartment was conducted
by a D.H.C.R. inspector who confirmed the existence of defective
The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services and
further ordered a reduction of the stabilization rent, effective
March 1, 1991.
In its petition for administrative review, the tenant states, in
substance, that the rent eduction should have commenced effective
August, 1989, in accordance with an inspection which confirmed
the service reductions at that time which was conducted by the
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be denied.
Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code provides in perti-
nent part that a tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and
Community Renewal (DHCR) for a reduction of the legal regulated
rent to the level in effect prior to the most recent guidelines
adjustment, and DHCR shall so reduce the rent for the period for
which it is found that the owner failed to maintain required
In the instant case the only issue is the effective date of the
rent reduction. Petitioner contends that since the complaint to
the DHCR was originally filed in December, 1989, it was improper
to fix the date of the rent reduction in March, 1991. Further-
more petitioner believes the effective date should commence as of
August, 1989, in accordance with a court inspection report which
found a reduction of services.
Although the record is unclear as to when the complaint which is
undated, was first received by DHCR, this much is certain: the
owner was not served with the complaint until February 8, 1991;
hence the effective date of March 1, 1991.
The Administrator's order is correct. The requirements of due
process demand that no sanction for failure to maintain services
can be retroactively applied prior to t e owner's actual know-
ledge of the problem. Since the DHCR record documents that the
owner only received the complaint in February, 1991, the
determination that the effective date of the rent reduction is
March, 1991, being the month after the service of the complaint
on the owner, is correct.
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 Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA