GC210322RT

                                  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.: GC210322RT
                                                  
          HENRIETTA SHAELLY                       RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: EE210243S
                                  PETITIONER            
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                   AFTER REOPENING

               On March 4, 1992 the above named petitioner-tenant filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued January 30, 1992. The order concerned housing 
          accommodations known as Apt 2J located at 1730 E. 14th Street, 
          Brooklyn, N.Y.  The Administrator denied the tenant's complaint 
          seeking a rent reduction based on a diminution of services.

               On December 29, 1992 the Commissioner issued an order and 
          opinion dismissing the petition as untimely.  On January 4, 1993 
          the tenant sought reconsideration of this order.  The Commissioner 
          granted reconsideration in an order issued on February 9, 1993, 
          finding that a copy of a receipt for certified mail established 
          that the petition had been timely filed.

               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 3, 1990 by filing 
          a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services wherein she 
          alleged a diminution of services in that the air and light to her 
          apartment was being blocked by the construction of a medical 
          building in the area adjacent to the subject building.  

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on June 7, 
          1992 and stated that it had no control over the construction of the 
          subject medical building and that the DHCR was without jurisdiction 
          to order a rent reduction in this proceeding.
           
               The Administrator terminated this proceeding on January 30, 












          GC210322RT

          1992 ruling that the tenant had to seek relief from a court of 
          competent jurisdiction.

               On appeal the tenant states that, in Sutton Fifty-Six Co. v. 
          Garrison (Appellate Term, First Department, New York Law Journal, 
          July 2, 1986) a court of competent jurisdiction ruled that a 7% 
          rent abatement is appropriate for a breach of the warranty of 
          habitability caused by the diminution of air and light when a 
          building is erected adjoining an existing building.  The tenant 
          states that a court of competent jurisdiction having ruled on this 
          issue, the DHCR should revoke the order here under review and 
          determine the merits of her complaint.  The petition was served on 
          the owner on April 10, 1992. 

               The owner, as represented by counsel, filed a response on May 
          11, 1992 wherein it stated that the court decision cited by the 
          tenant in her petition had no relevance to the issue of the 
          jurisdiction of the DHCR in matters involving the diminution of air 
          and light.  The owner urges the Commissioner to follow the prior 
          decisions of the agency which have consistently held that the DHCR 
          does not have jurisdiction to order rent reductions in cases of 
          this type.
           
               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

               The Commissioner agrees with the owner's interpretation of the 
          case cited by the tenant.  That case dealt with a legal action 
          brought pursuant to Section 235-b of the Real Property Law.  The 
          DHCR was not a party to that proceeding, no section of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law or Code was in issue and the court did not issue 
          any decision with respect to the duties of this agency as they 
          relate to this issue.  Regardless of the tenant's rights under 
          other provisions of New York State law, the tenant has offered no 
          basis for overturning the Administrator's decision, to the effect 
          that the DHCR lacks jurisdiction to order a rent reduction in 
          proceedings relating to a complaint alleging a diminution of air 
          and light based on the erection of an adjoining building. The 
          Administrator's order was correctly issued and is affirmed.
            
               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it 
          is 
















          GC210322RT


               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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