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.: FJ 630091 RO
SOCRATES PENA/ACTIVE MANAGEMENT
COMPANY, DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
DOCKET NO.: EE 630058 B
PETITIONER PREMISES: 2381 Valentine Ave.
Bronx, New York
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on September 17, 1991 concerning the
housing accommodations relating to the above-described docket
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and has
carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the petition.
Various tenants commenced this proceeding on May 9, 1990 by filing
a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain numerous
services in the subject building.
A copy of the tenants' complaint was transmitted to the owner on May
30, 1990. The Administrator's file appears to contain no owner's
Thereafter, a physical inspection of the subject building was
inspected on August 6, 1991 by a DHCR inspector who confirmed the
existence of defective conditions.
Based on this on-site inspection, the Administrator determined the
following services not maintained: "door closing main entry, door
lock main entry" and "intercom." The Administrator directed the
restoration of these services and further ordered, a reduction of
the stabilized rent.
In this petition for administrative review, the owner states that
the main entry door and door lock are "repeatedly being broken by
the tenants themselves or their children"; that whenever the door is
broken, it is repaired "within a 24-hour period"; that this building
never had an intercom system; that if rent were increased, he is
willing to install an intercom system; and that some of the
complaining tenants have moved out.
In answer to the petition, various tenants denied breaking the main
entry door and otherwise asserted that the building's security is
jeopardized by drug-dealing in front of the building, the lack of
intercom system and door lock, and the falling front doors. The
tenants further described the numerous defective conditions in their
own individual apartments.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that
the petition should be denied.
The owner's petition does not make clear whether it is the owner's
contention that repairs had been made before the apartment was
inspected or before the order was issued, or whether the contention
is that repairs were made following the issuance of the Adminis-
trator's order. If it is the former, then the owner's allegation is
belied by the report of the agency inspector. If it is the latter,
then the Administrator's order reducing the rent was nevertheless
correct when issued.
The Commissioner notes that the owner provided no evidence for the
contentions that the entry doors are "repeatedly being broken by the
tenants themselves or their children" and that whenever the door is
broken , it is repaired "within a 24-hour period." These unproven
contentions are not only insufficient reason to disturb the Adminis-
trator's order, but in the opinion of the Commissioner, is reason a
fortiori to affirm the Administrator's order. If these conditions
allegedly recur with such alacrity, the owner should be put on
notice to find a solution (e.g. main entry door with intercom and
other deterrent security systems) which would ensure that the
tenants are not made to suffer the continued lack of safety in this
The Commissioner also notes that the owner offered no proof for the
contention that the building never had an intercom system. Neither
did the owner raise this claim in the proceeding below, nor did the
owner submit a response or evidence to the effect before the
Administrator. In addition, as set forth above in detail, various
tenants strongly contested the owner's petition by denying the
owner's contentions in the petition and unequivocally stating that
the disrepair continues. The owner appears not to dispute the
The Commissioner further finds irrelevant the owner's allegation
that the Administrator's order does not stand in view of the fact
that some of the complaining tenants have vacated. A finding of
decreased services for which a rent reduction is warranted remains
in effect for subsequent tenants until rent restoration is granted.
The validity of the Administrator's rent reduction order is not
affected by the owner's unsubstantiated allegation regarding changes
in the tenancies of the affected apartments. Accordingly, copies of
this Order and Opinion are being mailed to the current residents of
the apartments involved.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly
based his determination on the entire record, including the results
of the on-site physical inspection conducted on August 6, 1991; and
that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the owner had failed
to maintain services. Moreover, the owner had ample oppurtunity from
the May 30, 1990 transmittal of the tenants' complaint until the
September 17, 1991 issuance of the Administrator's order to
investigate the tenants' complaint and to make the necessary
repairs; but the owner failed to do so.
The various tenants who answered the owner's petition are advised to
file new applications for a rent reduction based on decreased
services in their individual apartments, because the order appealed
from is a rent reduction order based on a building-wide decrease of
This Order and opinion is issued without prejudice to the owner's
right to file the appropriate application with the Division for a
restoration of rents based upon the restoration of services, if the
facts so warrant.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner