GE220128RO

                                  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.:  GE220128RO
                                                  
          JODY BARBATO                            RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: FE220596S
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


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

               On May 14, 1992 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued April 14, 1992. The order concerned housing 
          accommodations known as Apt B19 located at 376 East 94th Street, 
          Brooklyn, N.Y.  The Administrator directed restoration of services 
          and ordered a reduction of the maximum legal rent.

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 
          appeal.

               The tenant commenced this proceeding on May 20, 1991 by filing 
          a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services wherein she 
          alleged, in substance, that the owner was not maintaining certain 
          essential services.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on June 18, 
          1991 and stated that this proceeding should be combined with Docket 
          No. FE230150B which listed the same services complaints, including 
          the refrigerator and intercom systems. In a later submission, dated 
          August 14, 1991, the owner advised that all repairs had been 
          completed and enclosed a statement signed by the tenant on July 9, 
          1991 that all problems including the refrigerator and intercom had 
          been corrected.  The Division's records reveal that the 
          Administrator denied the building-wide services complaint in Docket 
          No. FE120150B in an order issued April 23, 1992.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          apartment.  The inspection was conducted on March 17, 1992 and 
          revealed inadequate refrigerator freezer temperature and a 












          GE220128RO

          defective intercom.  The inspector reported no defects in the fresh 
          food compartment of the refrigerator.

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on April 
          14, 1992 and ordered a $13.00 per month rent reduction based on the 
          report of the DHCR inspector.

               On appeal the owner states that the intercom was repaired, 
          that the refrigerator was also repaired and that the complaint 
          never stated any problem with the freezer unit.  The owner provides 
          copies of invoices and cancelled checks which are offered to show 
          that the repairs were made.  It also offers a copy of the signed 
          work ticket described above.  The petition was served on the tenant 
          on June 3, 1992. 

               The tenant filed a response on June 22, 1992 wherein she 
          stated that the intercom was not installed until July, 1991 but the 
          owner was collecting an increase for it since 1987 and the 
          refrigerator was broken on January, 1991 and replaced with a used 
          one in July, 1991.
           
               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted 
          and the order here under review should be revoked.

               Based on the tenant's acknowledgement in a signed work order 
          that all repairs were completed, the owner could reasonably assume 
          that no further action was required and that the proceeding before 
          the Division would be terminated without a rent reduction.  Due 
          process requires that before a physical inspection takes place and 
          a rent reduction ordered, the signed statement, if submitted by the 
          owner, be served on the tenant and, if challenged, that the owner 
          be advised that the complaint was not being withdrawn.

               In this case the statement was not served on the tenant, but 
          the tenant, in answer to the owner's petition, again confirmed that 
          all necessary repairs were completed.  The defects found by the 
          Division's inspector cannot form the basis of a rent reduction in 
          the absence of notice to the owner of the need to make these 
          repairs.  However, since the Administrator's order puts the owner 
          on notice that the freezer and intercom are not being maintained 
          properly, the owner is directed to repair these items within 30 
          days of the issuance of this order  and if the owner fails to do 
          so, the tenant is advised to commence a proceeding with the DHCR 
          Compliance Unit.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent and Eviction Regulations for 
          New York City it is 

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same 
          hereby is, revoked.  The tenant may pay off any arrears due and 






          GE220128RO

          owing by reason of this order in installments of $13.00 per month.

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                                   






    

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