ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FH 520174-RO

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

          ------------------------------------X 
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.:               
                                                 FH 520174-RO   
                                              :
                                                 DISTRICT RENT              
                                                 ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET     
                                                 NO.: DG 520289-S           

                                                 SUBJECT PREMISES:          
                                                 452 Fort Washington Ave.
                                                 Apt. No. 54, New York, NY 
             TYVAN HILL COMPANY/                                     
             DOROTHEA LEVINE,
                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X                             

           ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW,
                  IN PART AND MODIFYING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER AFTER
                        RECONSIDERATION PURSUANT TO REOPENING

               This  order  is  issued  pursuant  to   the   Commissioner's
          determination dated  February  24,  1992,  granting  the  owner's
          request for reopening and reconsideration of the above  captioned
          Administrative Review Order and Opinion dated January 10, 1992.

               The record reveals that the tenant filed a complaint on July 
          10, 1989 alleging that the apartment had not been  painted  since
          1982 (6 + years), that the windows in the bedroom  are  defective
          and the window in the dining room is a fire hazard.

               In an answer dated July 25, 1990, the landlord  acknowledged
          receiving the complaint and stated that the bedrooms  and  living
          room were painted on December 9, 1985, the kitchen was painted on 
          January 28, 1986, two bedrooms were painted on June 24, 1989, and 
          the dining room was painted on April 12, 1990.   Copies  of  paid
          bills were submitted to substantiate  this  work.   The  landlord
          expressed a willingness to  paint  the  remaining  areas  if  the
          tenant so desired.  The landlord also stated that there has  been
          a  building-wide  replacement  of  windows  which  have  included
          provision for the permanent and proper installation of an air 



          conditioner.   The  landlord  claimed  that  the  window  is  not
          defective but is a double sash window with  an  air  conditioning
          panel.  Finally, the landlord explained that the apartment has 
          two fire escapes but that only one is accessible which is all the 
          law requires.  

               The apartment was physically inspected on December 21,  1990
          by a DHCR employee.  The inspection revealed evidence of  peeling






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FH 520174-RO
          paint and plaster in the living room  and  water  stains  on  the
          walls and ceilings but no peeling paint and plaster in  the  rest
          of the apartment.  The inspector also  reported  that  the  lower
          part of the window in the bedroom was split 3/4 metal, 1/4  glass
          allowing 6 inches of opening space and that  the  window  in  the
          dining room was made the same way, preventing access to the  fire
          escape.  

               The Administrator's order reduced the  rent  for  this  rent
          controlled apartment by $5.00 per month for the peeling paint and 
          plaster in the living room and  water  stains  on  the  wall  and
          ceiling and $12.00 per month for  the  bedroom  window  and  fire
          escape window.  

               In the petition  for  administrative  review,  the  landlord
          seeks reversal of the Administrator's order because the  tenant's
          complaint  indicated  the  wrong  address  for  the  owner,   the
          inspector failed to note that  there  is  a  secondary  means  of
          egress in the event of fire, the apartment has been painted  many
          times as bills  submitted  by  the  owner  established,  and  the
          remaining areas would have been painted  and  plastered  but  the
          tenant refused access to the owner's contractor.  The  petitioner
          encloses a letter  dated  October  18,  1990  from  the  painting
          contractor stating that the tenant refused access  on  October  8
          and 9, 1990.   

               The petition was denied by  an  order  and  opinion  of  the
          Commissioner issued January 10, 1992.   

               In  seeking  to  have  the  matter  reopened,  the  landlord
          asserted that the complaint and the order were sent to the  wrong 
          address.  The landlord also stated that the tenant prevented  the
          painting from being completed by denying access and that this was 
          established by evidence submitted with  the  petition.   Included
          with the reopening request is  an  invoice  indicating  that  the
          bathroom, kitchen, foyer, small bedroom, large bedroom, and three 
          closets in the subject apartment were painted on October 16, 





          1990.  The landlord also submitted copies  of  violation  reports
          issued by the Office of Code  Enforcement  of  HPD  showing  that
          violations pertaining to painting and fire escape egress had been
          dismissed after an inspection of the premises  on  September  19,
          1991.    

               After careful reconsideration  of  the  entire  evidence  of
          record, the Commissioner is of  the  opinion  that  the  petition
          should be granted in part and the rent reduction ordered  by  the
          Administrator should be modified.

               The Commissioner notes  at  the  outset  that  the  landlord
          answered  the  complaint  and  acknowledged  therein   that   the
          complaint had been received.  It is  also  noted  that  the  rent
          reduction order was reissued on July 1,  1991  with  the  correct
          address  for  the  landlord  and  the  landlord  filed  a  timely
          petition for review of this order.  Accordingly, the landlord was 






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FH 520174-RO
          not prejudiced by any error in the address  that  may  have  been
          used in this proceeding.

               With regard to the merits of the petition, the  Commissioner
          finds that the tenant's complaint, asserting a failure to  paint,
          adequately put the landlord on notice of the  need  for  painting
          throughout the apartment and of the  tenant's  desire  that  this
          work be done.  The bills submitted by the landlord establish that 
          although portions of the apartment were painted at various  times
          between 1985 and 1990, the entire apartment was  not  painted  on
          any  of  these  occasions.   Moreover,  the  inspection  revealed
          peeling paint and plaster and water stained areas in  the  living
          room and none of the receipts submitted by the owner referred  to
          work done in the living room. 

               The claim of denial  of  access  is  also  not  credible  or
          convincing.  It was not raised before the Administrator  and,  in
          fact, in answer to  the  complaint  the  landlord  cited  several
          occasions  when  access  had  been  obtained  for  painting   and
          plastering work.   Also,  the  contractor's  letter  stated  that
          access was refused on October 8 and 9, 1990 while an  invoice  by
          the same contractor shows that much of the apartment was  painted
          on October 16, 1990, but not the living room.  The HPD  violation
          report confirms that a  violation  for  painting  was  issued  on
          October 17, 1984 and was not dismissed until September 19,  1991.
          This is consistent with the inspection by DHCR  on  December  21,
          1990 and  the  Administrator's  order  issued  on  July  1,  1991
          ordering a  rent  reduction  of  $5.00  per  month  for  painting
          required in the living room. 




               Similarly, with regard to the  windows,  the  HPD  violation
          report confirms that a violation was reported  on  September  13,
          1989 for a window sash blocking egress which  was  not  dismissed
          until  September  19,  1991,  after  the   Administrator's   rent
          reduction order was issued.  Even if there is a  secondary  means
          of egress and only  one  fire  escape  is  required,  the  record
          adequately supports a finding of defective windows  for  which  a
          rent reduction is warranted.  The  tenant  complained  about  the
          windows being half  glass  and  half  metal  and  the  inspection
          confirmed this condition.  Although the landlord asserts that the 
          windows  are  not  defective  but  are  equipped  with   an   air
          conditioning panel, it appears that the tenant does not  have  an
          air conditioner and the windows cannot be opened and therefore do 
          not permit proper ventilation. 

               Although two windows are clearly defective, the Commissioner 
          finds  that  the  $12.00  per  month  rent  reduction  for  these
          conditions is excessive and apparently  includes  an  amount  for
          lack of access to the fire escape.  Since the inspector failed to 
          note whether there is a  second  fire  escape,  the  Commissioner
          finds that this portion of the reduction should  be  modified  to
          $4.00 per month effective February 1, 1991. 

               Any arrears due the landlord as a result of this  order  may
          be paid by the tenant in twelve equal monthly installments.







          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FH 520174-RO
               The  landlord  is  advised  to  file  a   rent   restoration
          application when all necessary repairs have been completed.

               THEREFORE,  in  accordance  with  the  Rent   and   Eviction
          Regulations for New York City, it is

               ORDERED, that upon reconsideration this petition be and  the
          same hereby is granted in part and the Administrator's  order  be
          and the same hereby is modified in accordance with this order and 
          opinion. 

          ISSUED:







                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

    

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