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
APPEALS OF DOCKET NO.:
PETITIONER DF 210527-S
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On July 31, 1991, the above-named tenant filed a petition for
administrative review of an order issued on July 11, 1991, by a
Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodation known as
Apartment 1-B, 690 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, wherein the
tenant's application for a rent reduction was denied and the
proceeding was terminated.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion relevant to the issues
raised by the petition for review.
On June 23, 1989 the subject tenant filed an application for a
rent reduction based on the owner's alleged failure to maintain
service alleging various service deficiencies in her apartment.
A copy of the tenant's complaint was served on the owner on
September 17, 1990. The owner did not interpose an answer
On July 10, 1990 a physical inspection of the subject apartment
was carried out by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR). The inspector, in his report, noted that the following
conditions were as alleged by the tenant:
1. Kitchen refrigerator doors missing.
2. Hall closet door does not open.
3. Kitchen sink active leak.
4. Bathroom walls and floors show small holes
and missing tiles.
5. Kitchen window top sash does not close properly.
6. Two living room light fixtures do not work.
7. Hallway wall next to the apartment door shows
exposed B/X cable with live wires.
On July 1, 1991, the Rent Administrator issued the order here
under review, finding that the tenant had denied access to the
inspector on June 4 and 5, 1991 and terminated the proceeding.
In her petition for administrative review the tenant alleges that
she was not at home on June 4 and 5, 1991 because of sickness and
death in her family and alleges that the service deficiencies
A copy of the tenant's petition was served on the owner on
October 4, 1991. The owner did not interpose an answer although
afforded the opportunity to do so.
After careful consideration the Commissioner is of the opinion
that this petition should be granted.
The Commissioner notes that a DHCR inspection carried out on July
10, 1990 confirmed the existence of a diminution of services in
the subject apartment. It is further noted that the owner has
not interposed an answer to the tenant's complaints either in the
proceeding before the Rent Administrator or in this proceeding.
Since the inspection confirmed the tenant's allegations, and
since the owner has not denied the conditions, no further inspec
tions were necessary or required to establish the fact of a
diminution of services. Accordingly, the tenant's failure to
keep two inspection appointments due to sickness and death in the
family were no longer relevant to the proceeding, and indeed,
were superfluous; the denial of her rent reduction application
based thereon was clearly in error.
Pursuant to Section 22523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the DHCR for a 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.
The Commissioner finds that the administrator erred by not prop-
erly basing his determination on the entire record; including
the results of the on - site physical inspection conducted on
July 10, 1990 and that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code,
the administrator was mandated to reduce the rent upon deter-
mining that the owner had failed to maintain services.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the tenant's rent should
have been reduced effective October 1, 1990 based on t e diminu-
tion of the seven services hereinabove-mentioned (cf. page one).
This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the owner's
rights as they may pertain to an application to the Division for
a restoration of rent based upon the restoration of services.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code, it is,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted
and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby
is, modified and it is further
ORDERED, that the Legal Regulated Rent be, and hereby is reduced
by the percentage of the most recent guidelines adjustment for
the tenant's lease which commenced before the effective date of
this rent reduction. Furthermore, no rent increase m y be col-
lected after the effective date of this rent reduction Order,
until a rent restoration Order has been issued. The Owner is
directed to refund to the tenant all amounts collected in excess
of the reduced rent, since the effective date of the rent reduc-
tion Order which is October 1, 1990. If the owner fails to make
a refund within thirty (30) days of this Order, the tenant is
authorized to deduct the amount from future rent(s) until the
total amount has been refunded.