OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          ------------------------------------X   ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF

                    HALF ASSOCIATES,
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                               PETITIONER         DOCKET NO: FI120014OD


          On January 14, 1992, the Rent Administrator issued an order (Docket 
          No. FI120014OD) denying the owner's application for permission to 
          decrease services at the housing accommodations known as 160-15 
          Powells Cove Blvd., Whitestone, New York, various apartments. It 
          was noted in the order that an inspection was conducted under 
          Docket No. CK130021B; that it was determined in said proceeding 
          that two side entrance doors are essential services; that a rent 
          reduction of $2.00 per month was ordered as said doors had been 
          sealed with bricks; that the owner's application to restore the 
          rent was denied based on the owner's failure to restore services; 
          that the owner filed an administrative appeal contending that the 
          two side doors are not required; and that on administrative review 
          of said appeal, it was noted that the two side doors are essential 
          to the building's security, egress and ingress.

          On February 5, 1992 the petitioner-owner filed an administrative 
          appeal against the aforementioned order and alleged, in substance, 
          that the Division was in error in considering the side entrance 
          doors to be essential services; that services were minimally 
          affected by the closing of said side entrances; that the tenants 
          continue to have proper egress and ingress through the existing 
          five front entrances to the building; that the tenants benefit from 
          the added security of having fewer entrances; that the sealing of 
          the doors was done over fourteen years ago with full approval of 
          the Department of Buildings; that the denial of the application for 
          modification of services leaves a building-wide rent reduction 
          order in effect indefinitely; that this unjustly bars the owner 
          from getting any rent increases from the affected tenants and 
          prevents consideration of any MCI rent  increase applications; and 
          that the Division's decision causes unjustified hardship to the 


          Adm. Rev. Docket No. GB130046RO

          On September 4, 1992 the Commissioner issued an order finding that 
          the owner's petition for administrative review should be granted in 
          part; that it is appropriate to permanently reduce the rents of the 
          affected tenants by the $2.00 per month amount already ordered 
          under Docket No. CK130021-B, as of the effective date of said 
          order; that the owner's application for permission to modify or 
          reduce services should be granted conditioned on such action having 
          complied with applicable Building Department requirements; and that 
          all other sanctions contained in or emanating from the order issued 
          under Docket No. CK130021-B should be revoked.

          Subsequently, by letter dated September 15, 1992, the tenants 
          through their counsel requested reopening of the Administrative 
          Review proceeding and reconsideration of the Order and Opinion 
          issued by the Commissioner on September 4, 1992.

          On October 14, 1992 the Commissioner issued an order granting the 
          tenants' request for reconsideration and reopened the 
          Administrative Review proceeding under Docket No. GB130046RO. It 
          was noted that in said Administrative Review proceeding, the 
          Commissioner did not make a determination as to whether the subject 
          alteration was sanctioned by the Department of Buildings, nor was 
          further fact finding on this issue conducted or ordered. Rather, 
          the Commissioner's order provides that the grant of the owner's 
          application for permission to decrease services is "conditioned on 
          such action having complied with applicable Building Department 

          Upon reopening this proceeding, the Division afforded the owner a 
          second opportunity to present further information and evidence by 
          sending a notice on March 18, 1993 requesting the following:

               1)   A response in writing to the issues raised by the 
                    tenants' request for reconsideration; and 

               2)   To submit proof that the closing of the two side 
                    entrances had been performed in compliance with 
                    applicable Department of Building requirements.

          Said submission included copies of two violations, item Nos. 656 
          and 766 relating to the sealing of the doors in question which were 
          initially reported in May 1986 and referred to by the tenants in 
          the proceeding below. Item 656 describes the violation as follows 
          "file plans and application and legalize the following alteration 
          or restore to the legal condition existing prior to the making of 
          said atteration, entrance brick sealed front at 160 Street, 
          entrance B Section," whereas item 766 states "file plans and 

          Adm. Rev. Docket No. GB130046RO

          application and legalize the following alteration or restore to the 
          legal condition existing prior to the making of said alteration, 
          street entrance sealed with brick, first story public hall to 161 
          Street entrance D Section."

          This notice advised the owner that failure to respond would lead to 
          appropriate action taken consistent with the Rent Stabilization 
          Code. No response to said notice has been received by the Division 
          from the owner.

          After a careful reconsideration of the entire evidence of record, 
          the Commissioner is of the opinion that this Administrative Appeal 
          should be denied based upon the owner's default and that the Rent 
          Administrator's denial of the owner's application for permission to 
          decrease services should be affirmed.

          It would be inconsistent with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code 
          to sanction the removal of a required service, particularly where 
          the application is filed after the fact, where such action by the 
          owner is inconsistent with the applicable Buliding Laws and 
          Regulations and in fact the Commissioner's prior order was so 
          conditioned. The record shows that the sealing of the doors in 
          question resulted in violations being placed against the subject 
          property. The owner was failed to establish, although afforded 
          adequate opportunity to do so, that such violations were removed or 
          that the work was done in accordance with the requirements of law. 
          Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the relief requested in 
          the owner's application is not warranted and that the 
          Administrator's order denying such application should be affirmed 
          for reasons set forth herein.

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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is denied; that 
          the prior order and opinion of the Commissioner issued on September 
          4, 1992 be, and the same hereby is revoked;  that the Rent 
          Administrator's order be, and same hereby is, affirmed as noted 
          herein; and that the rent reduction order issued under Docket No. 
          CK130021-B and the sanctions imposed therein be, and the same 
          hereby are reinstated and remain in full force and effect.


                                                    JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                    Deputy Commissioner


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