FH130338RO
                                  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.: FH130338RO
                                                  
          JONATHAN LEVIN                          RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: EJ130114B
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                          
               On August 22, 1991 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued July 23, 1991. The order concerned various 
          housing accommodations located at 144-54 Sanford Avenue, flushing, 
          N.Y.  The Administrator directed restoration of services and 
          ordered a rent reduction for failure to maintain required services.  

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

               This proceeding was commenced on October 25, 1990 when 22 
          tenants joined in filing a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in 
          Building-Wide Services wherein they alleged, in sum, that the owner 
          was not maintaining certain required building services including 
          the fact that the building elevator did not stop level on all 
          floors.

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on January 
          23, 1991 and stated, in relevant part, that the elevator leveling 
          problem had been investigated but that the elevator repair service 
          retained by the owner had advised it that it was impossible to 
          adjust the elevator to level perfectly every time. The owner stated 
          that, regardless of the amount of maintenance done to the elevator, 
          the leveling condition could not be 100% corrected and that the New 
          York City Department of Buildings had not issued any violations 
          with regard to the subject elevator.
           
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          building.  The inspection was conducted on December 17, 1990.  The 
          building was reinspected on February 12, 1991.  The inspections 
          revealed that the elevator did not stop level on the first, second, 












          FH130338RO

          third and fourth floors by 1 1/2 inch either ascending or 
          descending. All other services were reported as being maintained. 

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on July 
          23, 1991 and ordered a rent reduction of an amount equal to the 
          percentage of the most recent guideline adjustment for the tenants' 
          leases commencing prior to December 1, 1990, based on the above 
          described inspection reports. 

               On appeal the owner states the following arguments in seeking 
          reversal of the order here under review:

                    1.   The tenants' complaint spoke of the elevator not 
                         leveling by several feet while the Administrator's 
                         order states that the elevator does not level by 
                         only 1 1/2 inches.  The condition cannot be 
                         corrected no matter what maintenance is done,

                    2.   No violations were reported for the subject 
                         elevator and it always passed inspection,

                    3.   Only the rent stabilized tenants from the first, 
                         second, third and fourth floors should have been 
                         granted a rent reduction as they are the only ones 
                         affected by the condition,

                    4.   The conditions cited are trivial in nature.

          The order was served on the tenants on September 18, 1991.

               Various tenants filed responses and stated, in sum, that the 
          order here under review was correctly issued and should be 
          affirmed.
           
               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

               The Commissioner acknowledges that enforcement of applicable 
          standards regarding elevator operation and safety is under the 
          jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Buildings which has 
          long established and comprehensive procedures and inspection 
          programs in place.  The staff engaged in carrying out these 
          programs has the necessary technical expertise to conduct periodic 
          inspections; to interpret and apply relevant codes, regulations and 
          industry standards and to issue violations.  Further, in view of 
          the City's greater experience with elevator enforcement, the City 
          is in a better position than the DHCR to determine appropriate 
          standards and ancillary equipment for elevators of varying age and 
          manufacture.


               The Commissioner notes that a search of the records of the 






          FH130338RO

          Department of Buildings reveals that a violation was issued by the 
          Department on February 20, 1991, while the complaint was pending 
          before the Administrator.  The violation was issued, in part, based 
          on an elevator leveling condition found by the DOB inspector.  The 
          DOB records confirm the tenants' complaint and the inspection 
          reports of the DHCR.

               The Commissioner rejects the owner's arguments on appeal as 
          being without merit.  The elevator services all building tenants so 
          all are affected by the decrease in services and are entitled to a 
          rent reduction, regardless of which floor they live on.  The above 
          described DOB violation report clearly reflects the fact that the 
          elevator in question was not operating according to industry 
          standards nor did the DOB consider the violations too trivial to 
          disregard.  The order here under review is affirmed.

               The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement which 
          resulted from the filing of the owner's petition is vacated upon 
          issuance of this order and opinion.  The owner may file for rent 
          restoration when the elevator has been completely repaired.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it 
          is 

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          denied, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same 
          hereby is, affirmed.

          ISSUED:



                                                                             
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                                   






    

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