GD 630027 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433



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          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE  REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:   
                                                  GD 630027-RO
                                                  RENT      ADMINISTRATOR'S
                OUDHORAM RAGOO                 DOCKET NO.: 
            c/o HORING & WELIKSON, ESQS.          EK 630073-B 
                                                  PREMISES: 
                                                  33-10 Kossuth Avenue
                                   PETITIONER     Bronx, NY
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            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
          630073-B.

          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






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          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
          removed.

          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
          allowable.

                    ". . .  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
          services", 







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                    " . . . 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-
                    phasis added] 

          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
               household wastes.

               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






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               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-
               acles.  
               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
          building.

          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.






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          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-
                    quired services."

          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
          indeed existed.

          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.


          ISSUED:










          GD 630027 RO
                                                                           
                                                   JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                   Acting Deputy Commissioner
    

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