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.:
PETITIONER EF 420504-S
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW,
On October 17, 1991, the above-named petitioner-tenant filed a
petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
October 3, 1991, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as Apt 5-G, 353 West 56th Street, New York, New
York, wherein the Administrator closed the tenant's complaint
without action on the basis that the tenant failed to provide
access to the Division's inspectors on two occasions.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issue raised by the administrative appeal.
The proceeding was commenced by the filing of a complaint on June
12, 1990 alleging a decrease in services, specifically, failure to
paint apartment for 5 years, peeling and flaking paint in dressing
room, and a crumbling kitchen cabinet.
On September 11 and again on September 19, 1991 the Division's
inspectors attempted but were refused access to the apartment by
the tenant's housekeeper. The Division closed the complaint by
order dated October 3, 1991.
On PAR, tenant's attorney contends that the Division was instructed
to contact him which it did not do in order to arrange for access
to the tenant's apartment, inasmuch as the tenant is 90 years old
and infirm. On May 30, 1992, the tenant's attorney corresponded
with the agency and advised that he was contracting to have the
necessary repairs made within the next seven days and also
requested an inspection of the premises.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
On two occasions the Division's inspectors notified the tenant in
writing one week in advance of the scheduled inspections. These
letters could have been presented to the person handling the
tenant's affairs in time for appropriate arrangements to be made
for access, particularly in view of the fact that someone attends
to the tenant daily and was at home on each occasion when access
was attempted. Under these circumstances the failure to notify the
lawyer in advance cannot be considered error.
As for the conditions complained of, if, as the attorney advises,
they have been corrected there is no purpose to be served by an
inspection. An order reducing the rent for a rent controlled
apartment based on a reduction in services is effective on the date
it is issued and has no retroactive effect. If the conditions have
been corrected there is no longer any basis for a rent reduction on
the grounds of reduction in services. The tenant should seek
reimbursement for repairs from the owner in a court of competent
jurisdiction, as necessary.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the New York City Rent Control Law
and the Rent and Eviction Regulations, it is,
ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied and the Administrator's amended order issued on October 3,
1991 be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA