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 :
APPEAL OF ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
: DOCKET NO. FE810342RO (reopening)
DAVID ASSOCIATES, DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
: DOCKET NO. FB910491S
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW IN PART
AND REMANDING PROCEEDING TO THE ADMINISTRATOR
On May 21, 1991, the above-named owner filed a petition for administrative
review of an order issued on May 17, 1991 by a Rent Administrator
concerning the housing accommodation known as Apartment 8-K, 185 Bronx
River Road, Yonkers, New York.
On June 2, 1992 the Commissioner issued an order, under the above-
mentioned docket number, dismissing the owner's petition for not being
filed timely, as the Administrator's order under review was stamped as
being issued on March 17, 1991.
In a letter to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), dated
June 5, 1992, the subject owner requested reconsideration of the order and
opinion issued by the Commissioner on June 2, 1992, based upon an
"irregularity in a vital matter." The landlord pointed out that the
Administrator's order was issued on May 17, 1991.
On June 26, 1992 the Commissioner issued an order granting the owner's
request for reconsideration and reopening of the Administrative Review
Docket No. FE810342RO, as the DHCR's records show that the Administrator's
order (Docket No. FB910491S) was in fact issued on May 17, 1991.
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 petition for review.
On February 20, 1991 the subject tenant filed an application for a rent
reduction based on the owner's alleged failure to maintain services,
alleging that since December 3, 1990 the subject building has been without
On March 14, 1991, DHCR mailed a copy of the tenant's complaint to the
DOCKET NO.: FE810342RO
On April 2, 1991 the owner interposed an answer to the tenant's complaint
wherein it alleged, among other things, that the building's two elevators
were inoperative as a result of a fire; that service to the building's
south elevator was restored on March 21, 1991; that work is proceeding on
the other elevator; and that no rent reduction is warranted as the
interruption of services resulted from a fire, which constituted a major
On May 17, 1991 the Administrator issued the order under review herein
finding that a diminution of services had occurred and reduced the
tenant's rent from December 1, 1990 through March 31, 1991, and the
Administrator ordered the restoration of the tenant's rent on April 1,
In its petition the owner asserts, among other things, that prior orders
of the rent agency have determined that rent reductions are not warranted
for a temporary reduction in services resulting from an emergency
situation where the owner has made a good faith effort to restore
services; that the reduction of services in this proceeding were as a
result of an emergency situation, and the owner states that even if a rent
reduction were to be determined to have been warranted, "the rent
reduction should not have been effective until the first of the month
following the landlord's receipt of the tenant's complaint, or as of April
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the
owner's petition should be granted in part and that this proceeding should
be remanded to the Administrator.
The Commissioner notes that it is a long established policy followed by
the rent agency and the predecessor agency of the Division of Housing and
Community Renewal in administrating the various statutes providing for the
regulation of housing, that a temporary service reduction resulting from
an emergency situation, where an owner has made a prompt good faith effort
to restore services, will not result in a rent reduction.
The Commissioner further notes that the owner's answer to the tenant's
complaint stated that work was still proceeding on one of the building's
elevators. As the owner admits that work was still proceeding on one of
the building's elevators, the Commissioner finds that at the time the
owner was served with the tenant's complaint building services were not
As building services were not fully restored at the time the owner was
served with the tenant's complaint, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the building's service reduction is not a temporary service reduction
as mentioned in the aforementioned DHCR policy. The Commissioner finds
that the aforementioned DHCR policy is not applicable to this proceeding.
The Commissioner notes that the owner was served with a copy of the
tenant's complaint on March 14, 1991. The Commissioner further notes that
the order under review herein ordered the subject apartment's rent reduced
from December 1, 1990 through March 31, 1991.
It is established policy of the rent agency to ensure due process, that
rent reduction orders issued by the rent agency, pertaining to premises
DOCKET NO.: FE810342RO
subject to the State Tenant Protection Regulations, are to be effective
the first day of the month following the date when the owner was served
with the tenant's complaint.
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator's order
incorrectly reduced the tenant's rent effective from a period prior to the
serving of the tenant's complaint on the owner. The Commissioner further
finds that the Administrator's order should be revoked, and the tenant's
complaint for a rent reduction due to a reduction of services should be
remanded to the Administrator for reconsideration.
On remand the Administrator should allow the owner an opportunity to
submit evidence showing that repairs to the elevators have been completed,
and that there is no service reduction due to lack of elevator service.
If the Administrator should determine that a rent reduction is warranted
in this proceeding, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the order
reducing the tenant's rent should be effective no earlier than April 1,
If the owner has already complied with the Administrator's order under
review herein and, as a result of the instant determination, there are
arrears due to the owner from the tenant, the tenant may pay off the
arrears in three equal monthly installments during the next three months.
Should the tenant vacate after the issuance of this Order, all arrears are
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974,
and the State Tenant Protection Regulations, it is
ORDERED, that the owner's Petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in
part, and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
revoked, and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, that this proceeding be, and the same hereby is, remanded
to the Administrator for the purpose of reconsidering the tenant's
application for a rent reduction based on the owner's alleged failure to
maintain services, in accordance with this order and opinion.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA