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.:
PETITIONER FB 230023-B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
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
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
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