FI130245RT
                                  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
          APPEAL OF                                DOCKET NO.: 
                                                  FI130245RT                
          SHEILA MCCORMACK,   
          TENANT REPRESENTATIVE                   RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S      
                                                  DOCKET NO.: 
                                  PETITIONER      FB130153B
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                   AND REMANDING PROCEEDING TO RENT ADMINISTRATOR

               On September 16, 1991, the above named petitioner tenant 
          representative filed a petition for administrative review of an 
          order issued on August 14, 1991, by a Rent Administrator concerning 
          the building known as 42-15 43rd Avenue, Sunnyside, New York 
          wherein the tenants' rent reduction application was denied  based 
          on a finding that the building is operated by a court appointed 
          receiver but the owner was directed to restore services.
               
               The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the 
          record and has carefully considered that portion relevant to the 
          issues raised by the petition for review.

               This proceeding was commenced on February 26, 1991 when 72 
          tenants of the 154 who reside in the building filed a Statement of 
          Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide Services wherein they 
          alleged various building-wide services deficiencies and requested 
          a rent reduction.

               The complaint was served on the owner who was afforded an 
          opportunity to respond.  A response was filed with the 
          Administrator on March 15, 1991 by the court-appointed receiver for 
          the building wherein it was stated, in sum, that the complaint had 
          been investigated, that some repairs had been made and that other 
          repairs were being contemplated.

               The Administrator did not order a physical inspection of the 
          premises.  Instead, the Administrator issued the order here under 
          review on August 14, 1991.  The Administrator stated that the 
          building is owned by a receiver and proceeded to order restoration 
          of services based on the admission of the receiver that the 
          following services were not being maintained:












          FI130245RT

                    1.   Elevator is out of order and does not stop level at 
                         all floors,

                    2.   Exterior light fixture missing from main entrance,

                    3.   Basement storage rooms are unavailable to the 
                         tenants and filled with flammable debris,

                    4.   Center courtyard is buckling causing flooding to 
                         basement and laundry room.  Insect infestation due 
                         to flooding,

                    5.   Roof fire alarms are inoperative and door is 
                         unlatched,

                    6.   Incinerator room doors are defective and chutes are 
                         missing,

                    7.   Apartment windows are defective.

          The order also stated that the Housing Maintenance Code does not 
          require regular public area painting but that such painting is 
          required to do so whenever necessary.

               In the petition for administrative review the tenant 
          representative requests reversal of the Rent Administrator's order 
          alleging that there exists no legal basis for denying the tenants' 
          application for rent reductions.  The petition was served on the 
          owner on October 21, 1991.

               The owner filed a response on November 8, 1991 and stated that 
          new elevators have been installed, that proposals for a new roof 
          and new windows are being solicited, that the owner is making a 
          good faith effort to correct the conditions complained of and that 
          it would be unfair to order a rent reduction as such a reduction 
          would only hamper the owner's efforts.  The owner filed an 
          additional response on November 19, 1991 and enclosed a copy of a 
          proposal for replacement of the building roof.

               After careful consideration the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that this petition should be granted and the proceeding should be 
          remanded to the Administrator for further processing.

               The Commissioner finds that there is no basis for excusing a 
          court appointed receiver from a rent reduction that is otherwise 
          warranted.

               The Rent Stabilization Code [Section 2520.6(i)] defines an 
          owner as

                   "A fee owner, lessor, sublessor, assignee, net
                    lessee or a proprietary lessee . . . or any 






          FI130245RT

                    other person or entity receiving or entitled 
                    to receive rent for the use or occupation at 
                    any housing accommodation . . . "

               As an entity entitled to receive rent, a Court appointed 
          receiver is within the definition of an owner.
                    
               Similarly, the Rent and Eviction Regulations [Section 
          2200.2(h)] define a landlord as an;

                   "owner, lessor, sublessor, assignee 
                    or other person receiving or entitled to 
                    receive rent  for the use and occupancy of any 
                    housing accommodation . . .", 

          a definition that would encompass a receiver.

               Based on all of the foregoing it is clear that the 
          Administrator made an error of law in failing to order a physical 
          inspection of the building and, instead, ordering restoration of 
          services based on the fact that the building is owned by a 
          receiver.  The Administrator also erred in deeming the March 15, 
          1991 letter filed by the receiver as an "admission" of all the 
          allegations in the complaint.  Clearly, the letter disputed some of 
          these allegations.  The Commissioner is therefore of the opinion 
          that this proceeding must be remanded to the Administrator in order 
          for a physical inspection of the subject building to be held.  The 
          Commissioner notes that the receiver no longer owns the building.  
          The Commissioner further notes that a rent reduction for the 
          elevator condition has been ordered by the Commissioner in Docket 
          No. FG130299RT.  The Administrator may not order an additional rent 
          reduction based the condition of the elevator.  Any rent reduction 
          so ordered shall apply to any tenant who joined in the filing of 
          this administrative appeal and shall be effective the first rent 
          payment date following service of the complaint on the owner.
           
               THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and 
          Code, and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City,
          it is,









               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted and that the proceeding be, and the same hereby is, 
          remanded to the Rent Administrator for further processing.














          ISSUED:

                                                                           
                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner

                                          
    

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