FL210381RO
                                  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


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                                                  SJR 6502 DEEMED DENIAL

          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: FL210381RO     

                                                  
            VIRGINIA GARDENS INC.                 RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: DB210019S
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


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

               On December 26, 1991 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued May 4, 1990. The petition is being accepted as 
          timely because a review of the record supports the owner's 
          contention that the order was not mailed to the registered owner.  
          The order concerned housing accommodations known as Apt F-3 located 
          at 1272 E. 36th Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.  The Administrator directed 
          restoration of services and ordered reduction of the stabilized 
          rent.  

               The owner then filed a proceeding in the Supreme Court wherein 
          it deemed its administrative appeal denied. The court remitted the 
          proceeding to the agency for an expeditious determination.

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 
          appeal.

               The tenant commenced this proceeding on February 1, 1989 by 
          filing a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services wherein she  
          alleged among other things that the stove is defective, the living 
          room windows do not stay up, the closet in the dining area has a 
          leak, and the bathroom walls require repair.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on March 8, 
          1989 and stated:    

                    1.   The tenant refused to allow the owner to replace 












          FL210381RO

                    the kitchen stove,

                    2.   Repairs had been made to the living room and 
                         bedroom windows and the bathtub,

                    3.   The water leaks would be repaired in the spring.

          The owner attached a copy of a work ticket, dated February 14, 1989 
          allegedly signed by the tenant, which was offered to show that the 
          repairs stated above were made.  The Commissioner notes, however, 
          that the ticket was not signed by the tenant in the areas indicated 
          to show successful completion of repairs.  Instead, three items 
          were signed by the building agent.          

               On July 31, 1989 the owner notified the Administrator that all 
          repairs were completed as of June 29, 1989 but that the tenant 
          refused to sign a work ticket attesting to this fact.  

               On January 3, 1990, the owner notified the Administrator that 
          it had been forced to go to court to gain access to the apartment 
          in order to complete repairs.  Attached to the owner's letter is, 
          among other things, a copy of a signed work ticket dated December 
          21, 1989, for window repair throughout the apartment.

               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          apartment.  The inspection was conducted on March 19, 1990 and 
          revealed that the living room window lower sashes do not stay up or 
          slide.  All other conditions cited in the complaint were found to 
          have been repaired.

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on May 4, 
          1990 and ordered a rent reduction of an amount equal to the most 
          recent guideline adjustment based on the finding of defective 
          living room windows.

               On appeal the owner, through counsel, makes the following 
          arguments in seeking reversal of the Administrator's order:

                    1.   The condition cited by the Administrator is 
                         insufficient to warrant a rent reduction as it is a 
                         minor condition requiring routine maintenance,

                    2.   The owner had signed work tickets which stated that 
                         the windows had been repaired.  The tenant did not 
                         contest the owner's answers, which stated that the 
                         windows had been repaired.  The Administrator 
                         should have dismissed the allegation of defective 
                         windows, instead of ordering an inspection,

                    3.   The owner was denied due process by being denied 
                         notice of the inspection and an opportunity to make 
                         repairs,






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                    4.   The effective date of the order here under review 
                         should be changed based on the owner's alleged 
                         failure to be served with the order at the proper 
                         address.  The owner argues that its right to rent 
                         restoration will be prejudiced by the fact that it 
                         had no knowledge of the order for a period of time 
                         and could not file for rent restoration.

          The petition was served on the tenant on April 3, 1992.

               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted 
          in part and the proceeding should be remanded to the Administrator.

               The tenant is entitled to properly functioning windows 
          throughout the apartment.  The tenant specifically cited living 
          room windows that do not stay up in the complaint.  Since the owner 
          was on notice of the condition it was under an obligation to make 
          workmanlike repairs to the windows in question.  It is not a 
          defense to the complaint to state that the condition in question is 
          "minor" and requires routine maintenance.  

               However, the owner did submit a work order signed by the 
          tenant indicating that the windows throughout the apartment had 
          been repaired.  Based on this acknowledgement by the tenant of 
          window repairs, the owner could reasonably assume that no further 
          action was required to correct this condition and that the 
          proceeding before the Division would be terminated without a rent 
          reduction.  Due process requires that such a signed statement, if 
          submitted by an owner, be served on the tenant and, if challenged, 
          that the owner be advised before an inspection takes place that the 
          complaint was not being withdrawn.

               The failure to do this, coupled with the failure to serve a 
          properly addressed order on the owner, requires revocation of the 
          rent reduction and a remand of the proceeding to the Administrator 
          for verification by the tenant of the signature on the work ticket.  
          Based on the results of this investigation, the order should be 
          reissued, properly addressed, either terminating the proceeding or 
          again ordering a rent reduction for the period of time from March 
          1, 1989 until the effective date of the rent restoration ordered in 
          Docket No. FL210193OR.  Any rent arrears due as a result of this 
          order may be paid in twelve equal monthly installments.
           
               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it 
          is 

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted in part, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and 
          the same hereby is, revoked and that the proceeding be, and the 
          same hereby is, remanded to the Rent Administrator for further 












          FL210381RO

          processing in accordance with the order and opinion.

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                                   
    

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