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.:
ALGIN MANAGEMENT CO., RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On February 14, 1991, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review of an order issued on January
24, 1991, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodations known as 1476 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York,
various apartments, wherein the Administrator determined that the
rent for rent stabilized apartments of tenants who signed the
complaint should be reduced to the level in effect prior to the
last rent guideline increase which commenced before the effective
date of the order based upon a diminution of services and further
determined that the maximum legal rent for all rent controlled
apartments in the building should be reduced by $12.00 per month
based upon a diminution of services. The Rent Administrator's
order was based upon a reinspection held on October 25, 1990, which
disclosed that although several service items had been corrected,
some had not. The reinspection of October 25, 1990 revealed that
the front entrance door is defective, the area around the lock
being warped and bent and there is evidence of vermin infestation
in the basement.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issue raised by the administrative appeal.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of various rent stabilized and rent controlled apartments
in the subject building.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted that at the time of the
DHCR's reinspection most repairs were corrected and that those
conditions which remained were isolated occurrences and are con-
sidered ordinary maintenance and that these same conditions were
minor in nature and not worthy of a rent reduction.
The petition was served on the tenants on March 1, 1991. One
tenant answered and claimed that repairs have not been made, that
the conditions are not minor, and that a rent reduction is
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
The tenants filed a Statement of Complaint of a decrease in
Building-Wide services on October 11, 1989.
On April 24, 1990, the owner filed an answer below alleging, in
effect, that all repairs have been made.
On August 10, 1990, the tenants' replied that the owner did not
complete the repair work.
Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations provides that
an owner's failure to maintain services may result in an order of
decrease in maximum rent, in an amount determined by the discretion
of the Rent Administrator.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) for a reduction of the legal regulated rent to the level in
effect prior to the most recent guidelines adjustment, and the DHCR
shall so reduce the rent for the period for which it is found that
the owner has failed to maintain required services.
Required services are defined in Section 2200.3 of the Rent and
Eviction Regulations and Section 2520.6(r) of the Rent Stabiliza-
tion Code to include repairs and maintenance.
A review of the record before the Commissioner clearly shows that
the owner did not submit any evidence that the deficiencies noted
in the reinspection of October 25, 1990, had been corrected; even
though the owner was notified of all remaining service deficiencies
on August 27, 1990 and was advised to correct the conditions.
The record reveals that the owner had ample opportunity to make all
repairs in a workmanlike manner, but had failed to do so before the
issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
The Commissioner has also considered and rejects petitioner's
claims on appeal that the conditions found below are ordinary main-
tenance, minor in nature and not rent-reducing items. A defective
front entrance door with a warped and bent area around the lock is
a service deficiency worthy of the owner's attention and evidence
of vermin infestation in the basement is in the same category.
These deficiencies should have been immediately corrected. Clearly,
the conditions found were not minor items that occur normally
despite ongoing maintenance or which would be addressed as part of
The Commissioner has also considered and rejects the petitioner's
claim that no notice was given in the complaint regarding the area
around the entrance door lock being warped and bent. A review of
the complaint clearly shows that the tenants' specified that the
entrance door must be replaced because the lock never works and the
frame is weak. The Commissioner finds, therefore, that this
constitutes adequate notice to the owner.
The Commissioner further finds that the Administrator properly
based his determination on the entire record, including the results
of the on-site physical inspection conducted on October 25, 1990,
and that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code and Section
2203.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations the rent reductions
ordered by the Administrator, based on a determination that the
owner had failed to maintain services, were warranted.
Accordingly, the Commissioner also finds that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's determi-
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and Evic-
tion Regulations for New York City and the Rent Stabilization Law
and Code, it is,
ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied, and Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply for
a rent restoration.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA