GA530172RO
                                  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.: GA530172RO 
                                                  
                                                RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                DOCKET NO.: DD530155B       

               944 Park Avenue Corp.                                         
           


                                 PETITIONER  
          ----------------------------------x                      
                                                                       

          ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW, IN 
          PART, REVOKING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER AND REMANDING PROCEEDING FOR 
                                FURTHER CONSIDERATION
                               

               On January 15, 1992, the above-named petitioner, the current 
          owner, filed a petition for administrative  review  of  an  order
          issued on December 18, 1991, by the Rent Administrator, concerning 
          the housing accommodation known as 944 Park Avenue, New York,  NY
          wherein the Administrator determined the tenants' complaint of  a
          reduction of certain building-wide services.

               The challenged order reduced the tenants' rents based  on  a
          finding that the owner had decreased or eliminated storage  space
          services.  The tenants' complaint asserted that the prior owner had 
          provided a locked storage room approximately 15 feet by  10  feet
          available to all tenants, whether or not some tenants chose to use 
          it.  The prior owner conceded that "there was a small space in the 
          basement where some tenants  from  time  to  time,  left  various
          possessions" but contended  that  the  "ability  to  store  these
          possessions was never a service to each and every tenant occupying 
          the  premises."   Other  allegations  of  reduced  services  were
          dismissed on various grounds.




















          GA530172RO



               In the appeal, the present owner asserts, as alleged below by 
          a previous owner, that storage room was never a required  service
          provided by the owner. Conceding  no  personal  knowledge  as  to
          whether a storage room was provided, the owner acknowledges  that
          "from conversation with the doorman, such services were provided as 
          a mere courtesy," but were discontinued "approximately ten years". 
          The owner also argues that storage space is not contemplated as a 
          required service in the tenants' leases, and contends that storage 
          space may not be considered a required service because it was not 
          registered on the initial 1984 services registration, for which the 
          tenants failed to file objections.  The owner also argues that the 
          Administrator's failure to provide the current owner notice of the 
          complaint after the current owner registered constitutes a denial 
          of due process.

               
               The owner's appeal was served on the tenants  on  March  17,
          1992, who interposed responses on May 1, 1992.

               Section 2520.6(r) defines required services as that space and 
          those services furnished or  required  to  be  furnished  to  the
          continuously stabilized tenants on May 31, 1968, and all additional 
          services provided or required to be provided thereafter.  The base 
          date for essential services for  rent  controlled  tenants  under
          Section 2201.2 of Rent and Eviction Regulation is April 20, 1962. 

               Accepting the fact, as claimed by the tenants and acknowledged 
          by the owners, that storage space services provided at  one  time
          were greatly reduced or eliminated as long ago as 1982, would not 
          exempt the owner from the obligation to provide the service.  The 
          owners have conceded, below and on appeal, that the services were 
          provided in some fashion before 1982.

               The owner is in error in raising the initial  1984  building
          services registration as a bar to the complaint because the tenants 
          failed to object to the owner's registration that did not list the 
          storage space.  The registration did not create a new base date for 
          services, and the tenants' failure to object did not act as a bar 
          to subsequent complaints of decreased service.  Tenants can assert 
          reductions of base date services at any time.

               Whether or not storage space was listed in the tenants' leases 
          is also not relevant.  Required  services  are  not  confined  to
          services set forth in the leases.   It  is  the  actual  services
          provided on the base date or thereafter, not lease provisions, that 
          control.










          GA530172RO

               The Commissioner finds the current owner, as the successor in 
          interest, to be obligated to provided base date services as was the 
          former owner, who was notified of the complaint, and filed a number 
          of responses.  This is true  whether  or  not  the  former  owner
          disclosed the existence of the Administrator's proceedings to his 
          successors.

               The current owner filed his  first  annual  registration  on
          August 7, 1990.  The owner is correct  that  the  Administrator's
          failure to provide the current owner with notice of the complaint 
          constituted  a  denial  of  due   process.    Consequently,   the
          Administrator's order must be revoked, the proceeding reopened and 
          the matter remanded to the Administrator to  permit  the  current
          owner an opportunity to be served with the record to date, to file 
          an answer, and to join issue as to the level of services provided, 
          subject to the Commissioner's findings herein.  In addition to the 
          record to date, the parties shall be afforded the opportunity  to
          submit additional evidence and to comment thereon.  If  necessary
          for a determination, a hearing may be scheduled.

               THEREFORE,  in  accordance  with  the  Rent   and   Eviction
          Regulations for New York City, the City Rent Control Law, and the 
          Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is,
               
               ORDERED, that this petition be,  and  the  same  hereby  is,
          granted, in part, that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the 
          same hereby is, revoked, and that the proceedings be, and that same 
          hereby are, remanded to the Administrator for further consideration 
          in accordance with the above.


          ISSUED:                                    






                                                  ___________________ 
                                                  Joseph    A.     D'Agosta
                                                  Deputy       Commissioner
                                                 

                    






    

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