GB 230016-RO

                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:   
                                                  GB 230016-RO               
                       EVA STERN,                      
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S      
                                                  DOCKET NO.: 
                                  PETITIONER      FB 230023-B


            On February 4, 1992, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
            petition for administrative review of orders issued on January 7, 
            1992, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommo- 
            dation known as 500 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn, New York, Various 
            Apartments, wherein the Administrator determined that a diminution 
            of services had occurred and reduced the rent of rent controlled 
            apartments by $7.00 per month and of rent stabilized apartments to 
            the level in effect prior to the last rent guideline increase which 
            commenced before the effective date of the orders.  These orders 
            were based upon inspections held on June 19, 1991 and November 15, 
            1991, which showed that not all services were being maintained.  
            The last inspection revealed that the public halls required 
            sweeping; that one of the public elevators was dirty and that the 
            window panes were still broken in the rear of the right wing lobby.

            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 regulated rents of various tenants in the subject building on 
            a building-wide basis.

            On appeal, the petitioner-owner stated that the services upon which 
            the reduction orders were based are non-essential; are part of 
            routine building maintenance and that they do not warrant rent 

          GB 230016-RO

            On May 27, 1992, the tenant of Apartment 2-H filed an answer to the 
            owner's petition reaffirming that the complained-of service defi- 
            ciencies still had not been restored.

            After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the 
            Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal 
            should be denied.

            A review of the record shows that the tenants filed a Complaint of 
            Decrease in Building-Wide Services on February 8, 1991.  

            Inspections were held by the DHCR, on June 19, 1991 and November 
            15, 1991 and although the inspection reports show that the owner 
            rectified eight other complained-of conditions in the building, the 
            inspector found that the public halls required sweeping; that one 
            of the public elevators was dirty and that the window panes were 
            still broken in the rear of the right-wing lobby.

            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 which the Rent Administrator may deter- 

            Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code;

                      A tenant may apply to the DHCR for a reduction 
                      of the legal  regulated rent to the level in 
                      effect prior to the most recent guidelines ad- 
                      justment, and the DHCR shall so reduce the 
                      rent for the period for which it is found that 
                      the owner has failed to maintain required ser- 

            Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) of the Code to 
            include repairs and maintenance.

            The Commissioner has considered and rejects the owner's claim on 
            appeal that the conditions found below are minor in nature and not 
            rent-reducing items.  The remaining service deficiencies are 
            serious and are worthy of the owner's attention.

            The Commissioner finds that the Administrator properly based his 
            determination on the results of impartial inspections which bear 
            greater probative value than the self-servicing and unsupported 
            allegations of the owner; and that pursuant to Section 2202.16 of 
            the Rent and Eviction Regulations and Section 2523.4(a) of the 
            Code, the rent reductions ordered by the Administrator based on the 
            finding that the owner had failed to maintain services were 

          GB 230016-RO

            For rent stabilized tenants, the amount of rent reduction is not 
            variable but is always equal to the most recent guidelines adjust- 
            ment, regardless of the number or severity of the services not 
            being maintained.  For rent controlled tenants, the amount is 
            within the discretion of the Administrator and was appropriately 
            established herein at $7.00 per month.

            This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the owner's 
            right to file the appropriate application with the Division for a 
            restoration of rent based upon the restoration of services, if the 
            facts so warrant.

            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 Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, 


                                               JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                               Deputy Commissioner


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