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.: GA510182RO


          EDWARD SISTERS REALTY ASSOCIATES/
          RAMONA L. GREY,                        DISTRICT RENT               
                                                 ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                 DOCKET NO.: FI510101S

                                                 PREMISES:
                                                 422 St. Nicholas Ave.
                                                 Apt. 2S
                                                 New York, NY
                            PETITIONER                                     
                                 
          -----------------------------------X                           
              
              ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

            The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
            review of an order issued on December 11, 1991 concerning the 
            housing accommodations relating to the above-described docket 
            number.  

            The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and has 
            carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the 
            issues raised by the petition.

            The issue in this appeal is whether the Administrator's order was 
            warranted.

            This proceeding was commenced on September 6, 1991 by the tenant 
            filing a complaint asserting that her rent should be reduced to 
            $1.00 a month due to fire and water damage. The tenant attached to 
            her complaint a copy of the owner's August 14, 1991 mailgram asking 
            her to vacate the apartment.

            On September 17, 1991, DHCR transmitted a copy of the tenant's 
            complaint to the owner.

            In its answer filed on September 25, 1991, the owner stated that  
            fire occurred on August 11, 1991 three floors above the tenant's 
            apartment, and acknowledged sending the mailgram in order to request 
            the tenant to seek temporary housing until the insurance company 
            finishes its work.

            Thereafter,  an on-site inspection of the subject apartment was 
            conducted on November 13, 1991 by a DHCR  staff member who reported 
            GA510182RO









            that the apartment entrance door is rotted, there are gaps around 
            the frame which allow air seepage; that the bedroom and the bathroom 
            door hinges are loose, locks are defective, there are gaps around 
            the frame, the doors are rotted; that the living room and hall doors 
            are rotted and off their hinges; that the foyer and the bathroom 
            floors are rotted and have holes; that there are two broken windows 
            in the second bedroom, one in the hall, and one in the living room; 
            that the second bedroom and foyer ceilings are cracked and water 
            damaged; that the living room and dining room ceilings are 
            unpainted; and that the bathroom ceiling  has collapsed.

            The Administrator's order established the rent at $1.00 per month 
            pursuant to Section 2522.6 of the Rent Stabilization Code and stated 
            that based on the owner's failure to comply with the requirements of 
            Section 2522.4(d), the legal regulated rent of $1.00 was effective 
            as of August 11, 1991, the date the fire caused the tenant to vacate 
            involuntarily.

            In the petition for administrative review, the owner contends in 
            substance that the tenant never vacated the apartment, and currently 
            resides in the apartment; and that the monthly $1.00 rent cannot be 
            charged.

            On March 17, 1992, DHCR mailed a copy of the owner's petition to the 
            tenant.

            In an answer filed on April 9, 1992, the tenant asserted that 
            besides the fire damage, there are other housing violations; and 
            that the Administrator's order should stay in effect.

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

            Sections 2522.6 and 2522.4(d) of the Rent Stabilization Code cited 
            in the Administrator's order are applicable to the situation where 
            a tenant is forced to vacate an apartment because it is legally 
            uninhabitable. The rent is established at $1.00 in order to maintain 
            the landlord/tenant relationship between the parties until the 
            tenant can resume possession. In the instant case, it is undisputed 
            that the tenant continued to remain in occupancy despite the fire 
            and water damage. As such, establishing the rent at $1.00 per month 
            is not warranted.

            The applicable sections of the Code are 2523.4 and 2520.6(r).     
            Section 2523.4 requires DHCR to order a rent reduction, upon 
            application by a tenant, to the level in effect prior to the most 
            recent guidelines adjustment, where it is found that the owner has 
            failed to maintain required services. Required services are defined 
            by Section 2520.6(r) as those services provided or required to be 
            provided on the applicable base date.

            Based on the findings of the November 13, 1991 on site inspection, 
            the rent should be reduced to the level in effect prior to the most 
            recent guideline adjustment, effective October 1, 1991.


            GA510182RO

            If the owner has already complied with the Administrator's order and 



            there are arrears due to the owner as a result of the present 
            determination, the owner is directed to allow the tenant to pay off 
            the arrears in 24 equal monthly installments. Should the tenant 
            vacate after the issuance of this order or have previously vacated, 
            said arrears shall be payable immediately.

            THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
            it is

            ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted, and 
            that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, modified 
            to order a reduction in the legal regulated rent to the level in  
            effect prior to the last guidelines adjustment, effective October 1, 
            1991.




            ISSUED:



                                                                          
                                            JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                            Deputy Commissioner






    

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