FA520182RO, et al.
                                  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
          APPEALS OF                            DOCKET NOS.: FA5210182RO
                                                EL520232RT;  EL520233RT;
          TRUSTEES OF COLUMBIA                  EL520234RT
          UNIVERSITY,    
                            Petitioner-owner    RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                      &                         DOCKET NOS.: DJ520731S;      
                                                EB520688S;   EC520533S
          GISELLE GUERRE, 
                            Petitioner-tenant 
          ----------------------------------x                      
                                      

            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING OWNER'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE 
                 REVIEW, IN PART, AND DENYING TENANT'S PETITIONS FOR 
                                ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW 


               On January 17, 1991, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          petition for administrative review (PAR) of an  order  issued  on
          December 21, 1990, by  the  Rent  Administrator,  concerning  the
          housing accommodation known as 110 Morningside Drive, Apartment 53, 
          New York, New York,  wherein  the  Administrator  determined  the
          tenant's complaints of reductions of services, filed on October 31, 
          1989.

               The  tenant's  appeal  per  Docket  Numbers  EL520233RT  and
          EL520234RT seek reversal of orders dated November 21,  1990,  per
          Docket Numbers EB520688S and  EC520553S,  that  consolidated  the
          tenant's complaints thereunder with the  proceedings  per  Docket
          Number DJ520731S herein under review on the merits.  The tenant's 
          appeal per Docket Number EL520232RT objected prematurely  to  the
          Administrator's  consolidated  determination  per  Docket  Number
          DJ520731S.

               Based on the results of inspections conducted on May 23, 1990 
          per Docket Number EC520553S and June 26, 1990 per Docket  Numbers
          DJ520731S and EB520688S, the challenged  consolidated  order  per
          Docket Number DJ520731S found  that  certain  services  were  not
          provided, and reduced the monthly rent by $33.00, prospectively as 
          follows:

                    1. Bedroom wall and lower area of ceiling 
                       is cracked and peeling of paint, northside.   $10.00













          FA520182RO, et al.



                    2. Sitting room wall molding loose from wall.      3.00

                    3. Small bedroom (north) wall cracked of paint 
                       and plaster.                                    5.00

                    4. Rear  bedroom  window  is  loose  -  parting  strips
                       installed unworkmanlike manner - outside wood 
                       frame cracked.                                  2.00

                    5. Bedroom window outside wood frame cracked.      2.00

                    6. Small room outside wood frame is cracked - 
                       balance needs to be adjusted.                   2.00

                    7. Livingroom (2) windows/fire escape window 
                       inside molding cracked - west side window 
                       putty missing.                                  2.00

                    8. Old electric box located in hall - defective 
                       cover and exposed wires.                        5.00

                                                                     $33.00

               The Administrator dismissed the tenant's remaining complaints 
          as follows:

                    1. No evidence of defective wiring throughout apartment.

                    2. No evidence of defective floors throughout apartment - 
                       repaired.

                    3. Dumbwaiter door has been concealed within wall.

                    4. No evidence of leaks in bedroom.

                    5. No evidence of leaks in bathroom.

                    6. New circuit breaker box installed - no  evidence  of
                       defects.

               The Administrator also indicated that the parties appeared to 
          have reached an agreement regarding  the  repair  of  the  window
          screens.

               The owner's appeal requests that  the  Administrator's  rent
          reduction order be vacated on the grounds that on June 29, 1990 the 
          tenant was awarded a rent abatement of $540.00 in a trial  before
          Judge Jacob Dubinsky in Manhattan Civil Court, Trustees of Columbia 








          FA520182RO, et al.

          University v. Guerre, L & T Index Number 56397/90, calculated upon 
          a reduction of $15.00 per month for the 36 months immediately prior 
          to the conclusion of the trial, based on a breach of the warranty 
          of habitability.

               The owner asserts that  the  violations  involved  the  same
          services complained of below.  The owner further avers  that  the
          tenant only partially complied with the Court's directives
          to provide the owner access to the subject premises to repair the 
          defective items and replace defective  equipment,  and  that  she
          failed to permit the owner access to replace the windows.

               As to the windows, the owner reiterates the assertions below 
          that the tenant failed to comply with a Stipulation of Settlement, 
          dated November 2, 1990, so ordered by Judge Dubinsky, that provided 
          that "the work [was] to be completed by November 30, 1990" and that 
          "if the [owners] required extension of time because windows  were
          not available, time of access and installation was to be extended 
          by motion or DHCR."

               Subsequently, on December 13, 1990, the owner brought an order 
          to show cause before Judge Dubinsky seeking access.  Copies of the 
          owner's motion and the  tenant's  pro  se  opposing  papers  were
          submitted by the owner to the Administrator, under a cover letter 
          dated December 21, 1990, stamped received by the DHCR on December 
          24, 1990.  The disposition, if any, of the Court proceedings is not 
          in the record.

               Briefly, the owner's order to show  cause  averred  that  on
          December 5, 1990, the tenant told the painting contractor that she 
          would not allow the painting to occur until the  windows  in  the
          apartment were done, and to the window contractor that she  would
          not allow the windows to be done  until  the  kitchen  floor  and
          apartment painting were completed.

               The tenant's opposing papers to  the  order  to  show  cause
          confirmed that both contractors came on the morning of December 5, 
          1990.  The tenant explained that her dispute  with  the  painting
          contractor concerned the kitchen floor tile repairs rather than the 
          windows replacement, and that the tenant wanted the kitchen floor 
          tiles repaired prior to painting the apartment.  The tenant  also
          set forth therein that she "did not have any objection to have the 
          window frames installed immediately after clearance of the  paint
          contractor."  (Emphasis  added).   The  tenant  further   alleged
          difficulty in obtaining  the  cooperation  of  the  owner's  Area
          Building Supervisor to conduct various repairs.




               On appeal, the owner also submits a  sworn  affidavit  dated
          January 4, 1991, by the employee of the owner's window contractor, 












          FA520182RO, et al.

          setting forth the following:

                    1. I am employed by Izzo Contractors as a contractor
                       and do work for The Trustees of Columbia University
                       in the City of New York pursuant to a contract.  I
                       am fully familiar with the facts and circumstances 
                       of this case, having been to  the  subject  premises
                       several times. 

                    2. On November 16, 1990, I contacted Ms. Guerre to 
                       arrange the installation of windows and was told
                       that the only day she was available for  access  was
                       Thanksgiving.

                    3. Access was finally scheduled for December 5, 1990, and 
                       I appeared at the subject premises at 8:45 AM with the 
                       windows and window frames ready to install them.

                    4. At that time, Ms. Guerre refused me access to the  
                       the premises stating that she would only  allow  the
                       installation  of  windows  after  painting  of   the
                       apartment was completed and the kitchen floor re-  
                       tiled. 

                    5. Ms. Guerre then stated she would call me when she was 
                       ready for window installation and closed the door.

               Sworn to before me this   
               4th day of January, 1991
                                                  S/                    
                                                  
               A copy of the owner's petition was served on the  tenant  on
          January 31, 1991.  The tenant addressed the owner's contentions on 
          appeal under her own appeal per Docket Number  EL520232RT,  cited
          above as premature.  The tenant does not disavow her statements in 
          the court papers.

               The Commissioner notes that the rent abatement awarded by the 
          Civil Court to the tenant herein was for a discrete period of time 
          prior to the trial and prior to the issuance of the Administrator's 
          order.  Such an abatement does not  preclude  the  Division  from
          ordering a rent reduction on a prospective  basis  for  the  same
          conditions pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent  and  Eviction
          Regulations to reflect the reduction in rental value of the subject 
          apartment because of the decreased services.



               However, there is ample evidence, including the tenant's own 
          statements in her December 19,  1990  opposition  papers  to  the
          owner's motion for an order to  show  cause,  that  the  painting
          contractor and the window contractor were not  permitted  by  the






          FA520182RO, et al.

          tenant to commence their assignments unless an unrelated  dispute
          concerning repairs to  several  broken  kitchen  tiles  was  also
          resolved prior to commencement of painting and windows replacement.

               Relying on statements in the tenant's pro se papers, to  the
          effect that the tenant would not permit the  owner  to  undertake
          repairs, refusing to permit work to commence or to continue unless
          unrelated disputes were also resolved, the Commissioner finds that 
          certain rent abatements  were  not  warranted.   Therefore,  rent
          reductions for defective windows and peeling  paint  and  cracked
          plaster should not have been granted prospectively.  Consequently, 
          rent reductions totalling $25.00 per month should be revoked  for
          the following conditions:

               1. Bedroom wall and lower area of ceiling 
                  is cracked and peeling of paint, northside.       $10.00 

               2. Small bedroom (north) wall cracked of paint 
                  and plaster.                                        5.00

               3.  Rear  bedroom  window  is   loose   -   parting   strips
                  installed unworkmanlike manner - outside wood 
                  frame cracked.                                       2.00

               4. Bedroom window outside wood frame cracked.          2.00

               5. Small room outside wood frame is cracked - 
                  balance needs to be adjusted.                       2.00
             
               6. Livingroom (2) windows/fire escape window 
                  inside molding cracked -                            2.00
                  west side window putty missing.                     2.00

                                                                    $25.00
                                                                 
               No evidence  was  presented  to  the  Administrator  in  the
          proceedings below that the remaining conditions were addressed or 
          that the tenant refused access to address  the  conditions.   The
          owner's statements below averred only that these conditions  were
          minor, that all complaints were investigated promptly,  and  that
          electrical work completed on December 1989 complied with all legal 
          requirements.  Accordingly, rent reductions in the amount of $8.00 
          per month, are affirmed:



               1. Sitting room wall molding loose from wall.        $ 3.00

               2. Old electric box located in hall - defective 
                  cover and exposed wires.                            5.00

                                                                    $ 8.00 












          FA520182RO, et al.

                                                                    
               In the tenant's appeals per Administrative Review Docket 
          Numbers EL520232RT, EL520233RT and EL520234RT, the tenant alleges 
          that DRO Docket Numbers DJ520731S, FB520688S and  EC520553S  were
          improperly consolidated, so as to deprive the tenant of  her  due
          process rights.

               The proceedings involved overlapping allegations  concerning
          the same owner, tenant and apartment unit.  The consolidation  of
          several  case  dockets,  procedural  in  nature,  permitted   the
          Administrator to review all the facts  and  circumstances  before
          rendering a decision.  The DHCR staff investigated all the tenant's 
          allegations, and reported those services  that  were  maintained,
          those that the owner was  not  required  to  provide,  and  those
          conditions that constituted service reductions.

               The tenant appears to assert that consolidation violated the 
          tenant's due process rights, on the ground that the ownber did not 
          file answers in response to all the complaints or because not all 
          of the owner's answer's were served on the tenant.  The  tenant's
          belief that the owner did not file the answers is erroneous, as the 
          owner filed individual answers in  each  proceeding,  taking  the
          opportunity to respond to allegations.

               The tenant's claim that consolidation violated the  tenant's
          due process because she was not served answers to one or more  of
          the complaints is also without merit.  Processing was limited  to
          issues raised in the tenant's complaints.   The  owner's  answers
          joined issue with the matters raised in the tenant's  complaints,
          and permitted appropriate processing of the complaints, including 
          investigation.  The disposition of the  tenant's  complaints  was
          predicated on the results of three inspectins,  as  well  as  the
          parties' allegations in their submissions.

               The fact that one or more  of  the  answers  below  was  not
          forwarded to the tenant did not prejudice  the  tenant's  rights.
          This is borne out of the fact that the tenant was granted several 
          rent reductions.  The rent reductions have been revoked, in part, 
          herein, based on the tenant's own statements in pro se court papers 
          to the effect that she would not allow workmen to commence painting 
          and window repairs unless the owner first addressed unrelated 



          kitchen tile matters, as detailed hereinabove.   On  appeal,  the
          tenant also  fails  to  establish  any  specific  errors  in  the
          Administrator's determination arising from the fact that  one  or
          more of the owner's answers was not sent to her.

               The Administrator also properly granted the owner's, as well 
          as the tenant's, requests for additional time to submit material, 
          without permission and prior notice to the adversary party.  Such 






          FA520182RO, et al.

          procedural decisions are wholly and solely for the Administrator's 
          sound discretion.

               The tenant's bare allegations as to fraud, extortion, coercion 
          and corrupt acts by various  parties  are  unsupported,  and  are
          dismissed in their entirety as being without merit.


               THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and 
          Eviction Regulations and the City Rent Control Law, it is,

               ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted, in part, and that the Administrator's order be modified to 
          revoke rent reductions in the  amount  of  $25.00  per  month  as
          provided above.  Rent arrears may be due the owner from the tenant 
          as a result of this order.   The  arrears  shall  be  payable  in
          installments that do not exceed the monthly amount ($25.00) revoked 
          by the instant determination.  It is further

               ORDERED, that the tenant's petitions be, and same hereby are, 
          denied.
           


          ISSUED:                                    


                                                  ___________________ 
                                                  Joseph    A.     D'Agosta
                                                  Deputy       Commissioner
                                                 

                    






    

TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name