ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FI 510235 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.:               
                                                 FI 510235 RO 
                                              :
                                                 RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S    
                                                 DOCKET NO.:                
                                                 FC 510796 S 
               JOEL ARAGONA,                              
                                                 PREMISES: 803 West 180th   
                                                 St., Apt. No. 5, New York,
                                                 NY 10033
                              OWNER           : 
          ------------------------------------X                             

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


               On September 30, 1991, the above-named owner filed a  timely
          petition  for  administrative  review  of  an  order  issued   on
          September 10, 1991 concerning the housing accommodations relating 
          to the above-described docket numbers.

               The Commissioner has reviewed all of  the  evidence  in  the
          record and has carefully considered that portion  of  the  record
          relevant to the issues raised by the petition.  

               The tenant commenced this proceeding on March  24,  1991  by
          filing a  complaint  asserting  that  the  owner  had  failed  to
          maintain adequate heat in the subject apartment; that the windows 
          are defective, either do not close or are difficult  to  operate;
          that when the bathroom floor was broken up to  fix  a  leak,  the
          owner refused to install the  same  tiles  that  the  tenant  had
          previously installed at their expense; that the floor  throughout
          the apartment is "corroded" and "in bad shape";  and  that  "mice
          and roaches get through" the floor.

               


               In his answer filed on May 24, 1991, the  owner  denied  the
          allegations as set forth in the tenant's complaint and  otherwise
          asserted that heat had always been provided and repairs had  been
          completed.  As to the bathroom tiles, the owner alleged that only 
          a small area of the bathroom floor was removed to repair a  leak,
          that the tenant had previously changed the  floor  tiles  without
          the owner's permission and cannot  provide  the  owner  with  the
          tiles used, and that the tenant was refusing  the  similar  tiles
          that the owner was offering and was insisting on a replacement of 






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FI 510235 RO
          the entire floor. 

               Thereafter, an on-site inspection of the  subject  apartment
          was conducted on August 6,  1991  by  a  DHCR  staff  member  who
          confirmed that the bathroom tiles are broken off or removed  from
          an area near the toilet;  and  that  the  apartment  wood  floors
          throughout have spaces between boards. 

               Based  on  said  inspection,  the   Administrator   directed
          restoration of services and a reduction of the stabilized rent.
               
               In this petition, the owner contends  that  the  tenant  has
          refused to allow the owner to patch  the  floor  but  insists  on
          either an exact replacement of the tiles installed by the  tenant
          without approval or a complete new floor.  The  owner's  petition
          does  not  address  the  defective  wood  floors  throughout  the
          apartment. 

               After careful consideration,  the  Commissioner  is  of  the
          opinion that the petition should be denied.

               Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code  requires  the
          Division to order a  rent  reduction,  upon  application  by  the
          tenant, based on a finding that the owner has failed to  maintain
          required services.  Required  services  are  defined  by  Section
          2520.6(r) to include repairs, decorating and maintenance.   

               In the  instant  case,  the  inspection  revealed  defective
          floors throughout the apartment for which  a  rent  reduction  is
          warranted and the owner does not even address this  condition  in
          his petition.

               As for the bathroom tiles, it is undisputed that  the  floor
          tiles were installed by the tenant, and that some of them had  to
          be removed by the owner in order to repair a  leak.   It  is  not
          clear from the record what efforts the owner made to replace  the
          tiles and whether the tenant prevented the owner from  completing
          the job.  Since the rent reduction for the defective wood  floors
          is warranted anyway, further fact finding regarding the  bathroom



          tiles is not necessary.  However, the parties are advised that in 
          order to restore services, the owner  must  replace  the  missing
          bathroom tiles either with matching tiles supplied by the  tenant
          or with substantially similar tiles provided by the  owner.   The
          owner need not replace the entire floor and if the  tenant  fails
          to provide matching tiles or unreasonably  refuses  substantially
          similar tiles offered by the owner, the owner will be  deemed  to
          have restored this service and will be entitled to a  restoration
          of rent, if the defective wood floors have been repaired as well. 
              
               THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and 
          Code, it is

               ORDERED, that this petition be and the same hereby is denied 
          and the Rent Administrator's order be  and  the  same  hereby  is
          affirmed.







          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FI 510235 RO
          ISSUED:






                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

    

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