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.:FA110372RO
Michael Pistilli, RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
58-35 Granger Street
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 January 29, 1991 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 tenant commenced this proceeding on October 18, 1990 by filing
a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain
services in the subject apartment.
In answer, the owner denied the allegations and otherwise asserted
in substance that exterminating services, among others, are being
provided; and that repairs including the defective kitchen tiles
were performed. The owner submitted a copy of a November 23, 1990
work order wherein the tenant allegedly signed an acknowledgement of
job completion and satisfaction.
On January 11, 1991, an inspection of the subject apartment was
conducted by a DHCR staff member who confirmed that linoleum tiles
were ripped on edge near the kitchen entry; and there were mice
droppings under the kitchen cabinets.
By an order dated January 29, 1991, the Administrator directed the
restoration of services and ordered a rent reduction.
In this petition, the owner contends in substance that all work was
done as per tenant's signed acknowledgement on November 23, 1990.
The owner stated without any substantiation that the inspection's
findings were new conditions allegedly caused by the tenant.
DHCR mailed a copy of the petition to the tenant.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that
the petition should be granted in part and the Administrator's order
should be modified.
Based on the statement allegedly signed by the tenant that all
repairs had been 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 the tenant's 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 the instant case, the physical inspection revealed that, contrary
to the owner's allegations and the alleged acknowledgement signed by
the tenant, the necessary repairs were not done and could not
possibly have been done properly on November 23, 1990 if a month
later the linoleum tiles were ripped on edge near the kitchen entry,
and there were mice droppings under the kitchen cabinets. A rent
reduction for these conditions is required pursuant to Section
2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, but because of the failure to
verify the tenant's signature on the signed work order or to advise
the owner that the complaint was not being terminated, the effective
date of the rent reduction is hereby modified to February 1, 1991,
the first of the month following issuance of the Administrator's
order, when the owner had actual knowledge that the complaint was
still alive and that DHCR's physical inspection revealed the need
for additional repairs.
Rent arrears may be due the owner from the tenant as a result of
this Order and Opinion. Any arrears shall be paid in monthly
installments which should not exceed the amount of the monthly
reductions revoked herein.
The status of the owner's rent restoration applications is as
follows: FB110267OR denied on August 5, 1991; FI110208OR denied on
April 23, 1992; and GH110082OR denied on May 20, 1993.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code
and Operational Bulletin 84-1, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in
part, and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
modified in accordance with this Order and Opinion.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA