GC 510072-RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEALS OF                              DOCKET NO.:   
                                                  GC 510072-RO               
             A. A. HILLS & COMPANY, INC.,         RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S       
                                                  DOCKET NO.: 
                                  PETITIONER      EB 510666-S


          On March 12, 1992, the above-named owner filed a petition for 
          administrative review of an order issued on February 26, 1992, by 
          a District Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodation 
          known as Apartment 4-J, 2 Ellwood Street, New York.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and 
          has carefully considered that portion relevant to the issues raised 
          by the petition for review.

          The tenant commenced the proceeding on February 7, 1990 by filing 
          a complaint asserting that the apartment has weak floors and walls.  
          The owner interposed an answer which stated that the tenant's 
          complaint is not descriptive on the condition of her apartment.  
          After checking with the tenant, it was found that her complaint 
          concerned the noise from an adjacent apartment.

          The tenant filed another statement of complaint of decrease in 
          services in June 1990 alleging, defective electrical outlet in 
          living room, alarm system destroyed by window installers, leak from 
          ceiling causing ceiling to fall, ceiling and floors are not 
          properly insulated - any walking, talking or noise is heard and is 
          disturbing, apartment was painted by tenant without reimbursement, 
          tenant bought own refrigerator and was not reimbursed, first floor 
          emergency exit is sealed off, and there is no protection in the 
          building.  The tenant's new Statement of Complaint was consolidated 
          with the original complaint.  The owner was served with a copy of 
          the new complaint and afforded an opportunity to respond.

          GC 510072-RO

          The owner's answer to the tenant's new Statement of Complaint 
          states in pertinent part, that the following major capital improve- 
          ments made were: replacement windows, upgraded elevator, adequate 
          wiring, and new entrance doors.  The owner stated that the hallways 
          have sufficient lights.

          Thereafter an inspection of the subject apartment was conducted by 
          a DHCR inspector who reported that the apartment hallway floor is 
          unlevel and sunken and the bedroom ceiling is falling.

          The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services and 
          further ordered, a reduction of the stabilization rent.

          In his petition for administrative review, the owner states, based 
          on the inspection there was no serious condition except for the 
          hallway floor which squeaks slightly.  The owner argues that since 
          the apartment is well maintained according to the inspection, the 
          tenant is not entitled to a rent reduction for this item.

          After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the Commis- 
          sioner is of the opinion that the petition should be granted in 

          As for the sunken and unlevel hallway floor, the Commissioner is of 
          the opinion that this item should be deleted from the Administra- 
          tor's order as a basis for the rent reduction, because the record 
          does not indicate that the owner had adequate notice of this 
          condition.  The tenant cited "weak floors and walls" in her com- 
          plaint and the owner stated in the answer that when he sought
          clarification, the tenant referred to noise coming from other 
          apartments.  Indeed, in the second complaint, the tenant mentioned 
          ceiling and floors not being properly insulated, noise from 
          upstairs from loud music and kids jumping, and walls so thin that 
          the peoples voices are heard all night.  It does not appear that 
          the tenant intended to complain about unlevel, sunken, or squeaking 
          floors and a rent reduction for this condition is, therefore, not 

          However, as for the bedroom ceiling, the tenant did specifically 
          include this in the complaint and the rent reduction order was 
          properly based on a physical inspection which revealed that the 
          bedroom ceiling is falling.  The owner did not make the necessary 
          repairs despite adequate notice and opportunity to do so, and the 
          rent reduction ordered by the Administrator is therefore war- 

          Accordingly based on a preponderance of the evidence, the adminis- 
          trator's order is affirmed as modified.            

          GC 510072-RO

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,  
          and the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, it is,

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in 
          part and that the District Rent Administrator's order be, and the 
          same hereby is, affirmed as modified.


                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Acting Deputy Commissioner



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