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 ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: GA510182RO
EDWARD SISTERS REALTY ASSOCIATES/
RAMONA L. GREY, DISTRICT RENT
DOCKET NO.: FI510101S
422 St. Nicholas Ave.
New York, NY
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
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
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
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
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
On March 17, 1992, DHCR mailed a copy of the owner's petition to the
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.
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,
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,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA