OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NOS.: FB 230308-RT
                                         :               EJ 230331-RO


     On October 23, 1990 and February 20,  1991,  the  above-named  petitioners
     timely filed or re-filed Petitions for Administrative  Review  against  an
     order issued on September 19, 1990 by the Rent Administrator of the  Gertz
     Plaza,   Jamaica,   District   Rent   Office,   concerning   the   housing
     accommodations known as 601 Albany Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

     The issue herein is whether there was a decrease  in  services  warranting
     reduction of the legal regulated rent.

     The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the  record  and  has
     carefully considered that portion of the record  relevant  to  the  issues
     raised by the administrative appeals.

     On October 24, 1989 various tenants filed  a  complaint  alleging  various
     decreases in building services, specifically, vestibule door and lock  are
     broken, apartment intercoms are not working, a roof alarm is needed, as is 
     high power lighting around building, the door to the  basement  is  always
     open, tenants are using the garage as an auto shop,  derelicts  loiter  in
     the halls, there is severe rodent infestation, the  elevator  breaks  down
     frequently, hot water and heat are not at legal  levels,  the  roof  leaks
     into the top floor apartments, the building's interior  and  exterior  are
     filthy, and repairs are not done in any apartment. 

     In its answer, dated December 10, 1989, the owner responded to  the  above
     complaint alleging various repairs and changes in personnel and management 
     to improve building conditions, namely, replacement of front door,  repair
     of intercoms, a new roof door has been ordered and roof has been  repaired
     in several areas, a new porter has  been  hired,  there  is  a  full  time
     plumber, the tenant using the garage as an auto shop has  been  threatened
     with eviction, and, to improve security the elevator does not go  down  to
     the basement after 8 P.M. 

     On  July  30,  1990  a  physical  inspection  of   the   subject   housing
     accommodation was conducted by the DHCR.  The inspector's report confirmed 
     existence of  several  of  the  complained  of  conditions,  specifically,
     entrance and vestibule door locks are defective and were not self locking, 


          DOCKET NUMBER: FB 230308-RT
     the roof doors were not self closing, basement doors were not  closed  and
     locked, elevator stops four inches below floor level on the 6th floor, and 
     the outside of the building was not clean.

     On September 19, 1990, the Rent Administrator issued an order based on the 
     report of the physical inspection, reducing the legal  regulated  rent  by
     the percentage of the most recent guidelines adjustment for  the  tenants'
     leases which commenced before December 1, 1987, the effective date of  the
     order, and directing the  owner  to  refund  to  the  tenant  all  amounts
     collected in  excess  of  the  reduced  rent  since  the  above  mentioned
     effective date.

     In their petition, the tenants contend  that  a  number  of  the  problems
     complained of which were found by the inspector to be maintained  in  fact
     still exist throughout the building and the order  should  be  amended  to
     reflect these conditions.

     In response, the owner addresses each of the conditions enumerated in  the
     tenants' petition, and states that the  allegations  of  the  tenants  are
     unsupported by the Division and that the order should not  be  amended  to
     reflect conditions not found by the Division's inspector.

     In its petition, the owner's managing agent states that it  took  over  as
     the new managing agent as  of  December  1,  1989  and  the  Division  was
     notified  of  this  fact.   The  agent  claims  it  was  deprived  of  the
     opportunity to respond to the tenants' complaint prior to the issuance  of
     the order.  Furthermore, the petitioner disputes the  inspection  findings
     in that the conditions found by the inspector are  unrelated  to  the  use
     and enjoyment of the building services and,  with  the  exception  of  the
     elevator leveling condition, do not  rise  to  the  level  of  a  required

     In response, the tenants state that the owner should have known about  the
     tenants' complaint when it purchased the building, that the  owner  should
     not have been given notice of any upcoming inspection, and  that  services
     which  were  not  cited  in  the  Administrator's  order  are  not   being
     maintained.  The tenants  also  assert  that  while  the  outside  of  the
     building is cleaned periodically it is not done often  enough,  and,  that
     debris can remain in the garden for between three and  four  weeks  before

     The Commissioner is of the opinion that  both  the  owner's  and  tenants'
     petitions should be denied.

     Despite  the  tenants'  assertions,  the  physical  inspection  failed  to
     disclose the conditions asserted in the tenants' petition.   Consequently,
     the  Administrator's order cannot be amended  to  include  conditions  not
     confirmed by the report of inspection.

     The Commissioner rejects the owner's  claim  of  lack  of  opportunity  to
     respond.  The Commissioner  notes  that  on  December  10,  1989,  in  the
     proceeding before the Administrator, the petitioner  herein  answered  the
     tenants' complaint.  Included in the answer was the statement that "a  new
     management is involved" at the premises and "changes are taking place."  


          DOCKET NUMBER: FB 230308-RT
     The  answer  is  signed,  "Shalom  Becker,  Managing  Agent."   Therefore,
     petitioner's statement that it was deprived of the opportunity to  respond
     to the tenants' complaint prior to the issuance of the  order  is  without

     The Commissioner also rejects the owner's assertion  that  the  conditions
     which were found to  have  not  been  maintained  by  the  owner  are  not
     conditions which constitute required services under the Rent Stabilization 

     Section 2520.6(r) of the Rent Stabilization Code defines required services 
     as that space and those services which the owner was  maintaining  or  was
     required to maintain on the applicable base date and any additional  space
     or services provided or required to be provided thereafter  by  applicable
     state or local law.  These may  include,  but  are  not  limited  to,  the
     following: repairs, decorating and maintenance, the furnishing  of  light,
     heat, hot and cold  water,  elevator  services,  janitorial  services  and
     removal of refuse.

     The Commissioner finds that the conditions cited  in  the  Administrator's
     order are in the nature of security, safety, and normal maintenance and as 
     such constitute required services within the Code.

     While the owner asserts that there is no requirement  that  the  vestibule
     door be self closing, the  Commissioner  notes  that  the  Administrator's
     order makes no such finding.  The order states that the entrance  door  is
     not self locking and that  the  entrance  and  vestibule  door  locks  are
     defective.  Petitioner agrees that the front entrance doors must  be  self

     The owner also asserts that the basement door which leads  to  the  garage
     does not and should not be locked.  If so, the owner states, no one  would
     be able to leave the building without using a key which would not be safe. 
     The Commissioner notes that the order did not  direct  that  the  door  be
     locked from the inside thus prohibiting  egress  for  building  residents.
     However, this door, for building  security,  should  be  locked  from  the
     outside to prevent entrance by outsiders.

     The owner also asserts that the inspector failed  state  with  specificity
     what was "dirty" on the outside of the building and as such the  owner  is
     not able to correct the condition.  The record reflects that the  tenants'
     complaint stated that the building interior and exterior were filthy.  The 
     owner, in answer to the tenants' complaint, stated that a new  porter  has
     been hired and that the owner had spoken with the tenants'  representative
     and that "all is fine as long as we are taking care of it."  

     The exterior building condition was readily  apparent  to  the  Division's
     inspector, notwithstanding the vague  instruction  to  "check  outside  of
     building-filthy".  This fact, coupled with the statements of  the  owner's
     agent that  he  had  had  discussions  with  the  tenants'  representative
     regarding the complaints, leads to  the  conclusion  that  the  owner  was
     sufficiently aware of the building condition and had reason to  know  what
     condition the inspector's finding referred to.


          DOCKET NUMBER: FB 230308-RT
     While the owner disputes some of the  inspection  findings,  it  does  not
     dispute the finding regarding the front entrance door and agrees that  the
     condition of elevator leveling constitutes a reduction in service.  

     While the owner submits the statement  of  an  elevator  contractor  dated
     September 27, 1990  that  the  elevator  was  serviced  in  the  month  of
     December 1989 and adjusted for proper  leveling,  such  statement  has  no
     relevant effect when weighed against the findings of the inspector several 
     months later.

     The evidence of record indicates that the Administrator  properly  reduced
     the rent based on a physical inspection conducted on July 30, 1990,  which
     revealed that the owner had failed  to  maintain  and/or  provide  certain
     required services.

     This order is issued without prejudice to the owner's  right  to  file  an
     application with the Division for a restoration of rent, if the  facts  so
     warrant, and without prejudice to the tenant's right to file an additional 
     complaint of decrease in service should the owner fail to provide services 
     not reflected in the Administrator's order.

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabilization Law 
     and Code, it is

     ORDERED, that these petitions for administrative review be, and  the  same
     hereby are, denied, and, that the order of the Rent Administrator be,  and
     the same hereby is, affirmed.


                                     JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                     Deputy Commissioner


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