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
APPEALS OF DOCKET NO.:
A. A. HILLS & COMPANY, INC., RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
PETITIONER EB 510666-S
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN PART AND MODIFYING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
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.
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.
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