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.:
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 26, 1992, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a peti-
tion for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on June 19,
1992, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommoda-
tions known as 2101 Westbury Court, Brooklyn, NY, various
apartments wherein the Administrator determined that a reduction in
rent was warranted based upon a reduction in services.
The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issue raised by the administrative appeal.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of rent regulated apartments in the subject building.
On March 22, 1990, the tenants filed a complaint alleging that the
owner failed to maintain services throughout the subject building.
The owner filed an answer to the tenants' complaint asserting that
he recently took over ownership and management of the premises;
that the building is undergoing renovation and that all relevant
services are being provided.
DHCR inspections conducted on November 8, 1991 and May 11, 1992,
revealed that although the owner corrected sundry service items
specified in the tenants' complaint, the incinerator rooms were
dirty and the public areas infested with vermin.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
he has a service contract to provide vermin control and that all
incinerator rooms were clean.
The petition was served on the tenants on July 8, 1992, and the
tenant of Apartment 5-G filed an answer to the petition stating
that his apartment was in need of painting and that his sink needed
replacement. On August 26, 1992, the owner sur-replied that the
tenant's comments were irrelevant to the issues noted in the
petition. Other tenants filed answers in July, 1992 alleging, in
pertinent part, that the owner was not maintaining exterminator and
incinerator room services.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a
tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) for reduction 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
the owner has failed to maintain required services.
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include
repairs and maintenance.
Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations provides that
an owner's failure to maintain services may result in an order of
decrease in maximum rent, in an amount determined by the discretion
of the Rent Administrator.
The Commissioner has considered and rejects the petitioner's claim
on appeal that the required repairs were made prior to the issuance
of the Rent Administrator's order.
A copy of the tenant's complaint was mailed to the owner on April
9, 1990 and the Rent Administrator's order was issued on June 19,
It is apparent that the owner had approximately twenty-six (26)
months to attend to the complained-of-conditions, but had failed to
do so prior to the issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
The inspector's report showed that as of May 11, 1992, the owner
failed to correct all of the service deficiencies specified in the
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's determina-
The Commissioner finds, that the Administrator properly based his
determination on the entire record, including the results of the
on-site physical inspections conducted on November 8, 1991 and May
11, 1992, and that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code and
Section 2203.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations, the Adminis-
trator was mandated to reduce the rent upon determining that the
owner had failed to maintain services.
As regards the rent stabilized tenants, the automatic stay of the
retroactive rent abatement that resulted by the filing of this
petition is vacated upon issuance of this Order and Opinion.
The Commissioner notes that there is a pending application for rent
restoration under Docket No. GF230097OR.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent and Evic-
tion Regulations for New York City and the Rent Stabilization Law
and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby, is affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA