ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: GB 130198


                                  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.:               
                                                 GB130198RO
                                              :
                                                 RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S    
                                                 DOCKET NO.: FG130051B  
                  TJS ASSOCIATES c/o             
                  ARCO MANAGEMENT CORP.                                

                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X                             

           ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW, 
                       AND REVOKING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

               On February 14, 1992, the above named petitioner-owner filed 
          a Petition for Administrative Review (PAR) against an order issued 
          on January 27, 1992, by the Rent Administrator at Gertz Plaza, 
          Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known as 
          124-16 84th Road, Queens, New York.

               The tenants complaint of a reduction of certain   building- 
          wide services, filed on July 15, 1991, cited among other items, 
          defective elevator indicator lights and defective elevator doors, 
          and the elimination of clotheslines.  The owner responded by a 
          certified letter to the Administrator (P 500 649 504) dated October 
          1, 1991, to the effect that the owner had attempted to repair the 
          elevators.  Said letter included a proposal by the elevator 
          contractor to restore dial indicators at a cost of $1,000.00 plus 
          tax.  
                
               The owner also represented that City Buildings Departments 
          inspections in July or August 1990, prior to the tenants' 
          complaint, did not reflect any elevator indicator violations.  In 
          fact, the violation report listed defective indicators outside the 
          hoistway as one of several violations, and recommended that repairs 
          be made.  A later Buildings Department inspection report dated 
          August 19, 1991, subsequent to the date of the tenants' complaint, 
          found one violation, wherein the owner was directed to provide a 
          missing rubber roller on the upper normal limit.



               The challenged order reduced the tenants' rents for inopera- 












          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: GB 130198

          tive elevator indicator lights and the removal of clotheslines 
          earlier in the year, contemporaneous with the installation of new 
          laundry room dryers.  The record reflects that dryers and 
          clotheslines were both available in the past.  The tenants' 
          allegations of other building-wide services reductions were not 
          sustained.

               The owner's appeal reiterates assertions below that elevator 
          repairs were performed.  The tenants were served on April 6, 1992.  
          A number of tenants contested the owner's claim, either 
          individually or by reference to the representatives' response, 
          asserting that the indicator lights were still not functioning.
               
               Concerning the New York City Department of Buildings violation 
          report for elevator equipment obtained in conjunction with these 
          proceedings, the Commissioner notes that the City Department of 
          Buildings has long-established comprehensive procedures, and 
          inspection programs in place, and the City staff engaged in 
          carrying out these programs also has the necessary technical 
          expertise to conduct periodic inspections, to interpret and apply 
          relevant codes regulations and industry standards; and to issue 
          violations.  Furthermore, in view of the City's greater experience 
          with elevator enforcement, the City is in a better position than 
          the DHCR to determine appropriate performance standards and 
          ancillary equipment for elevators of varying age and 
          manufacture.   
               
               The records of the New York City Department of Buildings 
          inspection conducted on August 19, 1991, albeit reporting one 
          violation, failed to confirm the conditions cited by the tenants.  

               In light of these facts, it is the Commissioner's opinion that 
          there is insufficient evidence to support the Administrator's 
          determination of decreased elevator service warranting a rent 
          reduction.
               
               The owner's appeal also reiterates that clotheslines had been 
          put back.  In the proceeding below, the owner, after being advised 
          of the results of the August 27, 1991 inspection, notified the 
          Administrator on October 1, 1991 that the clotheslines had been 
          restored to the basement area where they had been located 
          previously.  The December 13, 1991 inspector report stated that 
          "[t]here are no clothes drying lines".  However, it cannot be 
          ascertained from the report of the inspection whether the inspector 
          visited the basement.  




               The tenants that contest the owner's appeal concede, either 
          individually or by reference to the representatives' response, that 
          clotheslines were partially restored.  These tenants contend that 






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: GB 130198

          the replacement clotheslines do not provide as much hanging space, 
          as the owner had replaced twenty-four (24) lines strung parallel, 
          with fifteen (15) lines, and that some of the lines cross.  It is 
          the opinion of the Commissioner, that the present equipment affords 
          the tenants sufficient clothes hanging lines.  The Commissioner 
          finds that the clotheslines were restored prior to the issuance of 
          the Administrator's order, and that a rent reduction was not 
          warranted for the item.

               Some tenants cite new complaints or reiterate complaints that 
          were not confirmed below.  The Commissioner notes that an answer to 
          an owner's appeal is not the proper vehicle either to raise new 
          issues or to object to the Administrator's findings below.

               No other grounds were cited as grounds for rent reductions.   
          Therefore, no grounds remain to warrant the rent reduction.  
          Accordingly the rent reduction order is revoked.  Any rent arrears 
          due the owner from rent stabilized tenants as a result of the order 
          may be paid on the course of the next twelve (12) months.  Rent 
          arrears due the owner from rent controlled tenant may be paid over 
          the course of the next six (6) months. 

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and 
          Eviction Regulations, 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, 
          and that the Administrator's order be and the same hereby is, 
          revoked, as provided above.  

          ISSUED:



                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                                                    







    

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