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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.: FL 610123 RO
MORRIS AVENUE ASSOCIATES DISTRICT RENT
NO.: FE 610710 S
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
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
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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
On August 5, 1991 the Administrator sent the owner a complete
copy of the complaint and afforded it twenty one days to respond
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
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
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.
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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
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
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
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
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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
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