FH 210026-RT
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEALS OF                              DOCKET NO.:   
                                                  FH 210026-RT                
                   VEARLINE GAINES,               
                                                  RENT          ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.: 
                                  PETITIONER      DF 210527-S


          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

          FH 210026-RT
          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,

          FH 210026-RT

          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.


                                                ELLIOT SANDER
                                                Deputy Commissioner

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