FK 530295 RO
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.: FK 530295 RO
RICHARD H. AIDEKMAN DISTRICT RENT
NO.: EK 530092 B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On November 13, 1991 the above named petitioner-owner filed
a Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent
Administrator issued October 9, 1991. The order concerned
housing accommodations located at 56 Fort Washington Ave. New
York, N.Y. wherein the Administrator ordered a building-wide rent
reduction for failure to maintain required or essential services.
The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully
considered that portion relevant to the issues raised in this
The tenants commenced this proceeding on November 9, 1990 by
filing a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide
Services. The following services defects were complained of:
1. Elevator continually out of service
2. Garbage bags left in public areas
3. Leaky roof
4. Defective intercom system
5. Front entrance door open; lock defective
6. No exterminator services
7. Failure to provide adequate heat/hot water
8. Inadequate smoke detectors
9. Broken windows
10. Lack of washing machines and dryers in basement
The tenants claimed that the owner had been notified of all these
conditions. A rent reduction was requested. The complaint was
served on the owner and an opportunity to respond was afforded.
The Administrator investigated the issue of whether laundry
facilities were required base date services at the subject
building. Notices dated April 4, 1991, stating this inquiry,
were sent to both parties.
The owner filed a response on April 22, 1991 wherein it
stated that, according to its records, there were no laundry
facilities ever in existence at the building. The owner further
stated that the public areas would be cleared of debris, that
estimates would be obtained for the repair of the roof, and that
the bulkhead area and sixth floor walls and ceilings with water
stains and peeling paint and plaster would be repaired.
The tenants filed a reply on April 19, 1991. They stated
that there were two washing machines and one dryer in the
basement up until six years ago. However, since that time, there
were no machines and the part of the basement that was used as a
laundry room was locked and inaccessible to the tenants.
Thirty-three tenants attested to these statements.
The subject building was physically inspected by a DHCR
employee on two occasions, May 8, 1991 and June 28, 1991. The
inspections revealed the following:
1. Defective roof
2. Public areas, including bulkhead area dirty;
strewn garbage in lobby and fifth floor public
3. Laundry room service discontinued
The inspector also reported that the following services were
1. Elevator operative
2. Access available to basement
3. Entrance door operative
4. No evidence of vermin infestation in public areas.
The Administrator issued the order here under review on
October 9, 1991 wherein the inspector's report was set forth. The
Administrator directed the tenants to file individual complaints
regarding defective windows and intercom. The Administrator
further directed the tenants to file complaints regarding smoke
detector problems with the New York City Department of Health.
Finally, the Administrator stated that heat complaints should be
filed during the heating season and hot water complaints should
be filed using the appropriate form. The Administrator ordered a
rent reduction for all rent regulated tenants.
On appeal the owner states that the roof has been repaired
and that any leak was minor and caused no damage. The owner also
states that the public areas are cleaned on a daily basis by the
superintendent but that some tenants may have left garbage in the
halls. Finally, the owner repeats its contention to the effect
that laundry service is not one to which the tenants are
Five tenants filed responses to the petition. All stated
that services were not being maintained and requested that the
Administrator's order be affirmed.
After careful review of the evidence in the record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be
The owner's first two statements are at variance with the
report of the inspector which described bulging tar paper as well
as peeling paint and plaster and water stains in the bulkhead
area. At both inspections, dirty public areas were also found.
It is settled that such a report is entitled to more probative
weight than the unsupported allegations of a party to the
proceeding. The Commissioner notes that two tenants filed
responses to the petition wherein they stated that the roof still
leaks. Four tenants stated that the public areas are still in
need of cleaning.
With regard to the issue of the laundry room, the
Commissioner finds that, although the owner was given ample
opportunity to submit documentation as to whether such facilities
were base date services, the only submission was a statement to
the effect that based on a check of its records dating from 1987,
there had not been such facilities in the building. The
Commissioner finds this response to be insufficient to rebut the
statements by the tenants that laundry room facilities were
provided on the base date. The Commissioner notes that one of
the six responses to the petition specifically states that
laundry facilities were available until six years ago. Based on
a preponderance of the evidence, the Commissioner finds that the
Administrator properly found that a laundry room is a required
service that is not being maintained for which a rent reduction
is warranted. The order here under review is affirmed.
The owner may file for rent restoration when all services
have been fully restored.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code
and Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner