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
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: GF510066RO
BRIDGEVIEW PROPERTIES c/o
JONATHAN AUSTERN, DISTRICT RENT
DOCKET NO.: FJ510123S
PREMISES:497 W. 182nd. St.
New York, NY
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW IN
PART, AND MODIFYING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on May 6, 1992 concerning the housing
accommodations relating to the above-described docket number.
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and has
carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the petition.
The issue in this appeal is whether the Administrator's order was
This proceeding was commenced on October 7, 1991 by the tenant
filing a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain
numerous services in the subject apartment. The tenant enumerated
various defective conditions in the kitchen (water leak on the sink,
broken stove, all kitchen to be fixed and painted), in the bathroom
(no water pressure in the toilet, broken water faucet, broken window
and all bathroom to be fixed and painted), in the bedroom which
needs painting, in the living room (a water leak in the ceiling and
all the living room to be painted) and the hall inside the apartment
(the hall to be painted and the wall to be fixed).
On October 18, 1991 and January 28, 1992, DHCR transmitted a copy of
the tenant's complaint to the owner.
In an answer dated January 29, 1992, the owner asserted that a work
order was issued and upon work completion, it would submit a copy of
a signed work order and would ask for a dismissal of the complaint
at that time. The owner submitted copies of two unsigned work orders
covering the complained of conditions.
In another answer filed on February 4, 1992, the owner informed DHCR
that repairs were completed and attached copies of signed work
orders, wherein the tenant acknowledged completion of the required
repairs to satisfaction.
On February 13 and March 5, 1992, DHCR mailed copies of the owner's
answer to the tenant. Though duly notified twice to do so, the
tenant failed to reply to the owner's answer.
Thereafter, an on-site inspection of the subject apartment was
conducted on March 5, 1992 by a DHCR staff member who reported that
the kitchen stove pilot light and the 4 burners are not working, the
oven not lighting, the stove knobs missing; that there is peeling
paint and plaster on the hallway walls, the living room window sill
and the bedroom door window frame; that the toilet is not flushing;
that the bathroom faucet is leaking; that the bathroom window pane
is broken, and that the hallway walls have peeling paint and plaster
The inspector further noted that the plumbing in the kitchen sink is
maintained ; that there are no leaks or stains in the living room;
and that there is no defective paint and plaster in bedroom 1.
Based on the inspection, the Administrator directed on May 6, 1992
the restoration of services and further ordered the reduction of the
stabilized rent effective February 1, 1992.
In the petition for administrative review, the owner contends in
substance that the Administrator erred in failing to consider the
work orders showing that the tenant signed an acknowledgment that
the necessary work was satisfactorily completed; that no further
communication was received from either the tenant or DHCR by virtue
of these work orders; and that the petitioner was fully justified in
believing that all required work was in fact performed and in a
On June 26, 1992, DHCR mailed a copy of the petition to the tenant.
In an answer filed on July 7, 1992, the tenant denied that repairs
were ever made to the stove, the toilet, the faucet and the window
panes. The tenant otherwise asserted that the owner's petition filed
on June 12, 1992 against an order issued on May 6, 1992 should be
dismissed for going beyond the 35-day statute of limitations; that
the copies of work orders are questionable because it is signed by
a tenant's family member who does not read or speak English, who was
told he was ordering work to be done, not certifying satisfactory
completion of work; that the work orders were unsigned by the super,
with no date of completion, with no back-up of bills or receipts
from contractors; and that the on-site inspection confirmed that
repairs were needed in the apartment.
On July 16, 1992, DHCR mailed copies of the tenant's answer to the
In a reply filed on August 5, 1992, the owner stated that somebody
other than the tenant prepared the tenant's answer and he should be
identified; that the attached proof of service shows that the
petition was timely filed on June 10, 1992, which is 35 days
following the issue date of the order; that a major portion of the
tenant's complaint was rectified; that the remaining defective
conditions are de minimis, merely requiring tenant's cooperation in
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that
the petition should be granted in part and modified accordingly.
The Commissioner finds that the owner has established timely filing
of this petition; that the March 5, 1992 inspection results as set
forth above clearly show remaining serious defective conditions, not
trivial items; and that the owner addressed many of the items in the
The tenant's unsubstantiated questioning of the validity of the
owner's petition and the work orders for the first time on appeal is
beyond the scope of review, which is limited to the issues and
evidence before the Administrator.
The record establishes that copies of the signed work orders were
mailed twice to the tenant in the proceeding below prior to the
issuance of the Administrator's order, without the tenant
questioning the validity of same; and that repairs were actually
performed in the apartment, even though some conditions still
remain. Accordingly, the Commissioner is of the opinion that it was
reasonable for the owner to believe, after no further communication
from the tenant or DHCR, that all required work was performed
Accordingly, the Commissioner modifies the effective date of the
rent reduction to the rent payment date of the month subsequent to
the issuance date of the Administrator's order, when the owner was
put on notice of serious defective conditions, which were not
completely and effectively repaired.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted to
the extent that the effective date of the rent reduction is modified
to the rent payment date of the month following the issuance date of
the order appealed from, and that in all other respects, the
Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA