Adm. Rev. Docket No: FB 530227-RO
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

        APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: FB 530227-RO 
                                               DOCKET NO.: AF 530112-B  
                              PETITIONER    : 

        On February 21,  1991,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
        Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on  March
        21, 1987 by the Rent Administrator  at  Gertz  Plaza,  Jamaica,  New
        York,  concerning the housing accommodations known as 555  West  160
        Street, New York, New York wherein the Administrator  reduced  rents
        for rent controlled tenants based on a finding  of  a  reduction  of
        certain building-wide service.  The rent stabilized tenants did  not
        require rent reduction, however, the owner was directed  to  restore
        the services to the required  level  by  correcting  the  conditions

        The record confirms that the present owner was  not  served  with  a
        copy of the Administrator's  order.   Accordingly  the  instant  PAR
        shall be considered timely even though filed after the thirty-five 
        (35) day limit.

        The applicable law is Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization  Code
        and Section 2202.16 of the Rent & Eviction Regulations.

        The tenants commenced these proceedings on June 7, 1986, by filing a 
        joint complaint against the prior owner alleging that the owner  had
        failed to maintain  certain  building  wide  services.   The  tenant
        complained that among other items, that the bell buzzer  system  was
        out of order, that the door and  door  lock  in  the  building  were
        broken, that mailboxes were broken or missing; that the public halls 
        were dirty and paint peeling and  that  glass  in  the  public  area
        window was broken, that the elevator was defective, that  there  was
        garbage accumulated in the front of the building, that lights in the 
        basement were out or defective.

        On July 18, 1986, the then  owner  responded  that  a  new  intercom
        system was in the process of being installed, that by agreement with 
        tenants, locks had been installed on the outer door of the  building
        to keep out vandals and drug trafficking and  the  tenants  provided
        with keys, that new mailboxes would be installed.

        An inspection conducted on November 17, 1986  found  that  the  door
        buzzer system  was  inoperative,  that  hallway  walls  and  ceiling
        required  painting,  that  the  lobby   entrance   door   lock   was
        inoperative, that there were de minimus malfunctions of the elevator 
        cab in that there was some vibration and  that  there  was  an  open
        elevator shaft door at the bulkhead.

        Adm. Rev. Docket No: FB 530227-RO

        On March 24, 1987, the Administrator issued order reducing the  rent
        for the rent controlled tenant by $15.00 per month and directing the 
        owner to restore all services to the  required  level.   The  orders
        were addressed to the owner of record.

        In the petition, the present owner indicates that it took  title  to
        the subject premises on December 11, 1986  and  that  it  was  never
        served with a copy of the rent reduction order rented July 19, 1990, 
        by the Compliance Bureau.

        In the petition the owner argues  that  the  Division's  failure  to
        serve the owner with the Administrator's rent reduction  order  sent
        four (4) years after said order was entered denied the owner of  due
        process in that the  owner  deprived  of  a  opportunity  to  submit
        documentation to substantiate that service even maintained at on the 
        subject premise.  The petitioner contends that due to  the  lack  of
        service of said order it should not be required to refund any monies 
        claimed due and owing by the tenant, nor be subject to any  monetary
        liability by the Division.

        After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that 
        the petition should be denied.

        There is not evidence  in  the  case  docket  below,  nor  does  the
        petitioner assert,  that  the  Administrator  was  notified  of  the
        transfer of title prior  to  the  date  the  Administrator's  orders
        issued.  Moreover, the present owner did not register  the  premises
        with  Division  until  after  the  issue  date   March   23,   1987.
        Consequently, the Administrator acted properly in issuing  the  rent
        reduction order to the owner of record.

        Turning to  substantive  issues  the  Commissioner  notes  that  the
        petitioner concedes that the public  areas  required  painting.   An
        inspection July 20, 1990 in connection with  compliance  proceedings
        revealed that conditions had  not  been  corrected.   The  inspector
        reported that the bell  buzzer  system  had  been  removed  and  not
        replaced, that there was paint and plaster throughout the  building,
        that  the  vestibule  door  lock  was  broken  and  that         the
        vestibule door near the front door closed  properly.   Additionally,
        the inspection indicated that the elevator door did  not  close  all
        way and that the elevator shaft door was loose and open.

        A subsequent inspection on March 21,  1991  in  connection  revealed
        that the conditions were addressed but that defects remained or that 
        conditions had reoccurred, in that the vestibule door lock was not 
        working properly and  that  the  painters  had  not  scraped  before
        painting the walls and ceilings.

        In  light  of  the  fact  that  the  owner  did  not   receive   the
        Administrator's order until July 19, 1990, and  the  fact  that  the
        owner  attempted  to  address   the   conditions   thereafter,   the
        Commissioner is of the opinion that  any  property  agency  monetary
        sanction and civil penalties is premature at this time.

        However,  the  Commissioner  is  also  of  the  opinion   that   the
        Administrator's  March  24,  1987   determination   directing   rent
        reductions for rent controlled tenants and directing restoration  of

        Adm. Rev. Docket No: FB 530227-RO
        services should be affirmed.  Since the owner failed to  notify  the
        Administrator in a timely manner that it had acquired title  to  the
        property, the Administrator  acted  properly  in  serving  the  rent
        reduction order upon the owner of record.  In  the  absence  of  any
        irregularity  in  a  vital  matter  by  the   Administrator   below,
        reconsideration of the Administrator's order is not warranted.

        The owner is advised to file  an  application  to  rent  restoration
        based on a restoration of services, in the prescribed  form,  if  it
        has not already done so.

        THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Emergency Tenant 
        Protection Act of 1974, and Chapter 403 of  the  Laws  of  1983,  as
        amended by Chapter 102 of  the  Laws  of  1984,  as  implemented  by
        Operational Bulletin 84-1, it is

        ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is  denied,  and
        the Rent Administrator's order be and the same hereby is affirmed.


                                        ELLIOT SANDER
                                        Deputy Commissioner


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