GD 630027 RO
STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.:
OUDHORAM RAGOO DOCKET NO.:
c/o HORING & WELIKSON, ESQS. EK 630073-B
33-10 Kossuth Avenue
PETITIONER Bronx, NY
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of a Re t Administrator's order concerning the above-
referenced premises wherein the rents of the regulated tenants
were reduced due to a diminution of services.
On November 1, 1990, the tenant of Apartment 53 filed a complaint
of a decrease in building-wide services alleging various
deficiencies in the building.
On November 21, 1990, various tenants filed an application for
rent reductions based on the owner's alleged failure to maintain
services alleging, inter alia, "Garbage accumulation. The
Landlord doesn't have enough garbage cans for building."
On October 1, 1991, the Rent Administrator informed the owner
that both complaints were consolidated under Docket No. EK
The owner was served with a copy of the tenants' complaints on
December 17, 1990, June 25, 1991, and July 23, 1991, and
interposed an answer thereto on September 13, 1991 alleging in
substance that necessary repairs had been made, conditions
corrected, and that all services were being provided.
On September 4, 1991 a physical inspection of t e subject prem-
ises was carried out by the Division of Housing and Community
Renewal (DHCR). The inspector noted in his report, "Garbage (6
cans) are uncovered on south side of the building. Garbage bags
are scattered in this area."
On October 1, 1991, the Rent Administrator informed the owner of
the result of the September 4, 1991 inspection and the owner was
afforded the opportunity to correct conditions and to inform the
GD 630027 RO
Rent Administrator thereof.
On October 19, 1991, the owner informed the Rent Administrator
that the garbage on the south side of the building had been
On February 10, 1992, another physical inspection of the subject
premises was carried out by the DHCR. The inspector noted in his
report, "South side of the building is littered with garbage.
Only 5 garbage cans."
On March 3, 1992, the Rent Administrator issued the order here
under review, finding that a diminution of services had occurred
and reducing the tenants' rents to the levels in effect prior to
the last rent guideline increases which commenced before the
effective date of the rent reductions. The rent controll d ten-
ants' monthly rentals were reduced by $5.00.
In its petition for administrative review the owner requests
reversal of the Rent Administrator' order alleging, inter alia,
that the cited garbage condition is a deficiency which falls
within the category of routine maintenance and that it does not
warrant a reduction in rents.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be denied.
The Commissioner notes that the complaint filed on November 21,
1991 bore the signatures of four rent-controlled tenants (Apts.
41, 53, 56, and 7). The owner is advised that under the Rent &
Eviction Regulations (unlike the Rent Stabilizati n Code) Rent-
controlled tenants are not required specifically to apply for
rent reductions. The Rent Administrator, pursuant to Section
2202.16 may order a decrease of the maximum rent otherwise
". . . where there has been a substantial
deterioration of the housing accommodations
because of the failure of the landlord to
properly maintain the same . . .
The rent reductions imposed under the Re t & Evictions Regula-
tions are not based upon the granted applications of tenants,
rather, they are based upon the decreased value of the
accommodations. (cf. Section 2202.16);
" . . . the maximum rent for the housing
accommodation shall be decreased by that
amount which the administrator finds to be
the reduction in the rental value of the
housing accommodati n because of the sub-
stantial deterioration or decrease in
dwelling space, essential services, furni-
ture, furnishings or equipment . . . "
In Section 2200.3(b) the Regulations provide that "essential
GD 630027 RO
" . . . may include, but are not limited to,
the following: repairs, decorating and
maintenance, the furnishing of light, heat,
hot and cold water, telephone, elevator
service, kitchen, bath and laundry facilities
and privileges, maid service, linen service,
janitor service, and remov l of refuse. [em-
The Commissioner also notes that the only item cited as a basis
for the rent reductions which were ordered was the lack of
janitor service on the south side of the building. The tenants'
complaint and application, signed by thirty-seven tenants,
specified "Garbage accumulation. The landlord doesn't have
enough garbage cans for building." Accordingly, the Commissioner
finds that there was no denial of due process as to the owner in
regard to adequate notice.
The New York City Housing Maintenance Code (Article 5, Sections
27-2020 et seq.) provides, inter alia,
" . . . Receptacles for waste matter. a. The owner or
occupant in control of a dwelling shall provide and
maintain metal cans, or other receptacles jointly
approved as to specifications by the department, the
department of sanitation and the department of health,
for the exclusive use of each building, which shall be
of sufficient size and number to contain the wastes
accumulated in such building during a period of
seventy-two hours. No receptacle shall be filled to a
height so as to prevent the effective closure thereof
and no receptacle shall weigh more than one hundred
pounds when filled. The receptacles sha l be so con-
structed as to hold their contents without leakage.
Metal cans shall be provided with tight-fitting covers
and other receptacles shall be effectively closed . . .
b. Metal cans shall be kept within the dwelling or as
required by the department until the time for removal
of their contents when they shall be placed in front of
the dwelling. When inside storage s required, recep-
tacles of other materials shall be kept in a metal can
or a rat proof and fireproof room until the time of
their removal when they shall be removed from the metal
can and be neatly stacked in front of the dwelling.
After the contents have been removed by the Department
of Sanitation, any receptacles remaining shall be re-
turned promptly to their place of storage. Metal cans
shall be kept covered at all times and shall be disin-
fected regularly and maintained in a sanitary condi-
tion. Yard sweepings, hedge cuttings, grass, leaves,
earth, stone, or bricks shall not be mixed with
c. Newspapers, wrapping paper, or other inorganic
wastes which are likely to be blown or scattered about
the streets shall be securely bundled, tied or packed
GD 630027 RO
before being placed for collection. Such material
shall be kept and placed for collection in the same
manner as the receptacles.
Section 27-2022 Frequency of collection of waste matter
from dwelling units in multiple dwellings. a. The
owner of a multiple dwelling shall not allow the
accumulation except in a lawful receptacle of ashes or
any type of waste matter in any part of the premises.
b. In multiple dwellings where the owner provides
dumbwaiter service, all waste matter shall be collected
at least once daily and deposit d in separate recept-
c. In multiple dwellings where no dumbwaiter service
is provided, the owner shall provide between the hours
of seven a.m. and ten a.m. or between five p.m. and
eight p.m. daily:
(1) a sufficient number of receptacles but
in no event less than two within the dwelling
or other area approved by the department
which are accessible to the tenants. Such
receptacles shall be removed promptly upon
the expiration of the selected time period
and taken to their place of storage . . ."
The Commissioner notes that on the occasion of the first
inspection, September 4, 1991, the inspector noted scattered
garbage bags, uncovered cans, and a total of 6 garbage cans.
The Commissioner further notes that on the occasion of the second
inspection, February 10, 1992, the inspector noted, "Southside of
building is littered with garbage. Only 5 garbage cans."
The Commissioner determines therefore that rather than improve,
the situation deteriorated between inspections as manifest by the
elimination of one garbage can and the continued litter-strewn
condition of the southside of the building.
Moreover, the Commissioner finds that the cited garbage
condition is not de minimis as it is considered by the local
authorities to be of sufficient gravity to merit an entire
Article of the Housing Maintenance Code (Sections 27-2020 through
27-2023). Based on the two DHCR inspections the owner has not
been observing these provisions and in the opinion of the
Commissioner five garbage cans are not sufficient for a 48 unit
Finally the Commissioner notes that the owner has characterized
the cited condition as "within this category of routine mainten-
ance." After a close review of the record in this proceeding
including two inspections conducted five months apart, the Com-
missioner finds the garbage accumulation not to be an isolated
incident. Based upon the tenants' complaints, and the two in-
spections it appears that non-maintenance has been the routine.
GD 630027 RO
Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code provides:
"A tenant may apply to the DHCR for a reduc-
tion of the legal regulated rent to the level
in effect prior to the most recent guidelines
adjustment, and the DHCR shall so reduce the
rent for the period for which it is found
that t e owner has failed to maintain re-
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include
repairs and maintenance.
The Commissioner finds that the administrator properly based his
determination on the entire record; including the results of the
on-site physical inspection conducted on September 4, 1991 and
February 10, 1992 and that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the
Code, the administrator was mandated to reduce the rent upon
determining that the owner had failed to maintain services.
Section 2202.16 of the Rent & Eviction Regulations provides that
if the owner fails to maintain services, the Rent Administrator
may order a decrease in the maximum rent in an amount which the
Rent Administrator, in his discretion, may determine.
The record in the instant ca e reveals that the tenants com-
plained about certain conditions at the premises and a physical
inspection of the premises confirmed that these conditions
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Rent Administrator
properly determined that the owner had not corrected conditions
and for this reason rent reductions are warranted.
This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the owner's
rights as they may pertain to an application to the Division for
a restoration of rent based upon the restoration of services.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabili
zation Law and Code, and the Rent & Evictions Regulations for
New York City, it is,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied,
and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
affirmed; it is further
ORDERED, that the previously-issued stay be, and the same hereby
is, vacated, and the rent reductions which had been ordered by
the Rent Administrator be, and the same hereby, are reinstated.
GD 630027 RO
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner