FL 610123 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.: FL 610123 RO
                                                  
               MORRIS AVENUE ASSOCIATES           DISTRICT RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: FE 610710 S
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                          
               On December 16, 1991 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued November 14, 1991. The order concerned housing 
          accommodations known as Apt 1G located at 2280 Grand Avenue, Bronx, 
          N.Y.  The Administrator ordered a rent reduction for failure to 
          maintain required services.  

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 
          appeal.

               The tenant commenced this proceeding by filing a Statement of 
          Complaint of Decrease in Services on May 14, 1991 wherein she  
          alleged the following services deficiencies:

                    1.   Kitchen--faucet broken; holes in floor.

                    2.   Bathroom--ceiling falling; broken door.

                    3.   Bedroom--door and closet door broken; defective 
                         windows; water coming into room from above.

                    4.   Living room--water coming from above and eating out 
                         walls; room in need of painting.  

                    5.   Hall inside apartment has ceiling falling out.

                    6.   Exposed electrical wire from refrigerator. 


               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint on June  3, 
          1991 and afforded an opportunity to respond. On June 11, 1991 the 
          owner, through counsel, submitted a request for additional time to 












          FL 610123 RO

          respond to the complaint.  The owner stated that it had not 
          received a complete copy of the complaint and requested that the 
          Administrator supply a complete copy.  The owner filed a request 
          for an additional extension of time to answer by letter dated July 
          3, 1991 stating it had still not received a complete copy of the 
          complaint

               On August 5, 1991 the Administrator sent the owner a complete 
          copy of the complaint and afforded it twenty one days to respond 
          thereto.

               On September 26, 1991 the owner advised the Administrator that 
          the tenant was refusing to give access to the apartment so that her 
          complaint could be investigated.  The owner requested that a "no 
          access" inspection be conducted.

               The owner filed its answer on October 3, 1991.  It stated that 
          it had been served with two different complaints, one dated May 10, 
          1991 and the other dated May 20, 1991.  The May 10 complaint did 
          not state any decreases in services but the May 20 complaint set 
          forth the list of complaints described above.  The  owner repeated 
          the allegation that the tenant had initially refused to give access 
          so that repairs could be made.  However, the owner stated that it 
          had finally gained access and that the following repairs had been 
          made:

                    1.   Entire apartment plastered and painted; ceiling 
                         holes sealed, painted and plastered.

                    2.   Kitchen faucet repaired.

                    3.   Doors repaired.

                    4.   Floors in process of being repaired.

                    5.   Electrical wire from refrigerator removed.

          Annexed to the answer as Exhibit "E" was a work order dated 
          September 24, 1991 and allegedly signed by the tenant's roommate.  
          The order stated that painting and plastering in the apartment had 
          been completed.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          apartment.  The inspection was conducted on October 28, 1991 and 
          revealed the following:


                    1.   Kitchen faucet not working properly; water sprays 
                         out all over.

                    2.   Bathroom ceiling bulging.







          FL 610123 RO

                    3.   Bathroom door frame rotted with hinge falling off.

                    4.   Bedroom doors do not close completely.

                    5.   Bedroom closet doors do not close completely.

                    6.   Bedroom window bottom sash coming out of track; 
                         second bedroom right top sash glass broken with 
                         bottom right and left sash coming out of frame.

                    7.   Bedroom ceiling waterstained over window; second 
                         bedroom ceiling waterstained by riser.

                    8.   Living room ceiling and walls over doorway 
                         waterstained.

                    9.   Refrigerator plug has exposed wires.

          The following services were found to have been maintained:

                    1.   No evidence of holes in kitchen floor.

                    2.   No evidence that ceiling of hall inside apartment 
                         is falling.

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on 
          November 14, 1991 and ordered a rent reduction of one guideline 
          adjustment, effective September 1, 1991, based on the inspector's 
          report.

               On appeal the owner, through counsel, first restates the 
          procedural history of this matter and alleges that the 
          Administrator ignored its requests for an extension of time to 
          answer.  The petitioner also alleges that all repairs were 
          completed by October 14, 1991 but that the agency issued the order 
          here under review on November 14, 1991 without giving the owner the 
          proper time to complete repairs.  The owner's contention is that 
          since the tenant was not cooperating in providing access, the 
          inspection herein must have preceded October 14, 1991 and that the 
          owner is being penalized for the fact that it could not complete 
          repairs before that date.

               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

               With regard to the owner's contention that the Commissioner 
          somehow ignored its requests for an extension of time to answer, 
          the Commissioner notes that the record contains each letter 
          specified by the owner requesting an extension.  The Administrator 
          was well aware of the owner's requests and did not order an 
          inspection until after receipt and consideration of the owner's 
          October 3, 1991 answer.  The Commissioner further notes that the 












          FL 610123 RO

          owner's answer stated that repairs had been made and that the 
          subsequent inspection found that they either had not been made or 
          that they had been made in an unworkmanlike manner.

               Section 2523.4 (a) of the Rent Stabilization Code requires 
          DHCR to order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant, if it 
          is found that the owner has failed to maintain required services.  
          Required services are defined in Section 2520.6 (r) of the Code to 
          include repairs and maintenance.
           
               The owner contends that the tenant had refused access, that 
          this refusal delayed the owner's repairs, that the inspection must 
          have preceded the completion of the repairs and that the owner was 
          prejudiced by this. The Commissioner finds no support in the record 
          for any of these arguments.  Although the owner asserted in the 
          petition that repairs were completed by October 14, 1991, the 
          subsequent inspection on October 28, 1991 revealed numerous 
          defective conditions.  Therefore, any delays based on lack of 
          access did not prejudice the owner if, as it states, it had 
          completed repairs prior to the inspection.  In sum, the 
          Administrator correctly issued the order here under review.  
             
               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code 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.

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Acting Deputy Commissioner
    

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