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.: GJ430074RO
DOCKET NO.: GA430025B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On October 9, 1992, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
September 23, 1992, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the
housing accommodation known as 560 West 163 Street, Various
apartments, New York, N.Y. wherein the Administrator directed
restoration of services and further ordered a reduction of the
maximum and stabilized legal rents, as appropriate.
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.
This proceeding was commenced by the filing of a complaint on
January 14, 1992 alleging a decrease in services. An inspection
conducted by a Division employee on February 24, 1992 confirmed the
existence of the complained of conditions.
In the PAR the owner contends, among other things, that the
order should be reversed because it is contrary to the prior DHCR
orders (Docket Nos. BI430023OR, CD430095OR) which restored rents
for the identical services four years ago, therefore, the owner
contends that the complaint simply revives matters which have
already been addressed in prior orders; that there is a $3.00 rent
reduction currently in effect for janitorial services which is
duplicated by a $5.00 reduction in the current order; that some of
the signatures on the complaint are not legal tenants and that the
rent reduction should not apply to them; that the order is in error
in that there is only one rent stabilized tenant, the remainder are
rent controlled. The owner also states, incorrectly, that
correspondence dated October 24, 1991 from a Division employee
stated that this case is closed.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be
granted in part.
The Division's records reveal that there was another complaint
which was decided on November 25, 1986 and a rent reduction order
was issued at that time. Thereafter, upon application by the owner
the rent was restored with the exception of a $3.00 still in effect
for janitorial services.
The owner is correct that the order hereunder review which
granted a $5.00 rent decrease for janitorial services duplicates
this reduction. This portion of the order is therefore revoked.
The owner, however, is incorrect that the remainder of the order
deals with conditions that have already been restored and for this
reason the order should be revoked.
The restorations which were effective at various times in 1988
resulted from inspections conducted by Division employees at that
time after the November 25, 1986 order which reduced the rent.
The order herein appealed resulted from a complaint or
complaints filed on January 14, 1992. One of the items in that
complaint - front entrance door - has been the subject of a
previous rent reduction as well as a subsequent rent restoration.
The appearance of this item in the tenant's complaint, however,
represents a new matter which was confirmed by a new inspection on
February 24, 1992.
The fact that this as well as other services were found to
have been restored after a prior rent reduction order does not
establish that the rent reduction ordered herein is not warranted.
These are services that must be provided on an ongoing basis and
may deteriorate at anytime which, if confirmed by an agency
inspection, would warrant a rent reduction, despite an earlier
determination that the service was being provided.
The Commissioner notes that the owner, judging by her answer
to the tenant's complaint, thought she was being served with a
duplicate of a prior complaint. A review of the complaints filed
under each docket shows them to be distinct and the owner's error
here is simply that and not a failure on the part of the Division
to properly serve the complaint.
The other findings in the Administrator's order are separate
and distinct from those found in the prior order issued on November
25, 1986. They relate to matters raised for the first time in the
complaint herein and do not duplicate the findings in the previous
The Commissioner notes that the rent roll attached to the
Administrator's order contains the information that approximately
half of the building's tenants are rent stabilized. The Division's
records are in agreement with the information supplied by the owner
in a Maximum Base Rent Application, and it appears that the owner
is correct in her assertion that all of the tenants affected by
this order are rent controlled tenants and not rent stabilized.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code, the City Rent Law and the Rent and Eviction Regulations, it
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is granted
in part and the Rent Administrator's order be and the same hereby
is modified in accordance with this order and opinion to order a
rent reduction of $41.00 (rather than $46.00) per month for all
tenants affected by the order. Rent arrears due as a result of
this order may be paid in installments of $5.00 per month.
Joseph A. D'Agosta