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.:GB430306RO
322 East 73rd Street Associates,
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On February 25, 1992, that above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review of an order issued on January
17, 1992, by the Rent Administrator, and post marked January 21,
1992 concerning the housing accommodations known as 322 East 73rd
Street, New York, NY, various apartments, wherein the Administrator
determined that the rent for rent stabilized apartments should be
reduced to the level in effect prior to the last rent guideline
increase which commenced before the effective date of the order
based upon a diminution of services and further determined that the
maximum legal rent for rent controlled apartments should be reduced
by $8.00 per month based upon a diminution of services. The Rent
Administrator's order was based upon inspections held on October
10, 1991 and December 17, 1991, which disclosed that although
several service items had been corrected, some had not. The
inspection of December 17, 1991, revealed that paint and plaster on
the bulkhead and paint and plaster on the third floor stairs had
not been corrected.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issue raised by the administrative appeal.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rents of various rent stabilized and rent controlled apartments
in the subject building.
This proceeding was commenced on July 2, 1991 when one rent stabi-
lized tenant filed a complaint alleging several building-wide
conditions requiring repair and ordering a rent reduction.
On November 4, 1991, the owner filed an answer below alleging that
all necessary repairs had been made and that regular maintenance is
conducted at specifically designated intervals.
An inspection on October 10, 1991 revealed that the public area
windows required cleaning, one window was nailed shut for safety
purposes and there was peeling paint and plaster on the walls and
ceilings between the third and fourth floors and on the bulkhead.
The owner was notified of the results of the inspection on November
1, 1991 and afforded an opportunity to correct the conditions and
submit proof within 20 days.
A second inspection on December 17, 1991 revealed that new windows
had been installed but that there was still peeling paint and
plaster between the third and fourth floors.
The Administrator's order reduced the rent by a guideline for the
one rent stabilized tenant who signed the complaint and by $8.00
per month for all rent controlled tenants in the building.
In the petition for administrative review, the owner asserts that
it did not have sufficient time to address the conditions
complained of, that the water seepage condition was caused by
defective windows, that new thermal windows were installed
throughout the building, that the installation was completed in
December 1991 and the leak damaged areas could not be repaired
until they had dried out, which takes about 2 months. The petition
was served on the tenant on April 2, 1992.
In answer to the petition, the tenant states that the leak was
never properly corrected and although the affected areas have been
repainted, the water continues to seep through.
After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the Commis-
sioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted in
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) for a reduction of the legal regulated rent to the level in
effect prior to the most recent guidelines adjustment, and the DHCR
shall so reduce the rent for the period for which it is found that
the owner has failed to maintain required services.
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include
repairs and maintenance.
A review of the record before the Commissioner clearly shows that
the owner did not submit any evidence that the deficiencies noted
on the follow-up inspection of December 17, 1991 had been
The owner's claim on appeal that repairs were in progress is not
material insofar as it had ample opportunity to make all repairs in
a workmanlike manner during the several months that this proceeding
was pending, but had failed to do so before the issuance of the
Rent Administrator's order.
The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based his
determination on the entire record, including the results of the
on-site physical inspections conducted on October 10, 1991 and
December 17, 1991 and that pursuant to Section 2523.4 (a) of the
Code the Administrator was mandated to reduce the rent for the one
rent stabilized tenant who signed the complaint, upon determining
that the owner had failed to maintain services.
Although rent controlled tenants do not have to request a rent
reduction to be entitled to one, in this case since not one rent
controlled tenant joined in signing the complaint, the owner was
not on notice that the provisions of the Rent Control Law were
being invoked in this proceeding. The rent reductions granted to
rent controlled tenants constitutes a denial of the owner's due
process rights and must be revoked.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and
Eviction Regulations for New York City and the Rent Stabilization
Law and Code, it is,
ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is,
granted in part, and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the
same hereby is, affirmed, as modified to revoke the rent reduction
for rent controlled tenants.
Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply for
a rent restoration.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA