GC530080RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433





          ------------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE          ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                                    DOCKET NO.: GC530080RO

               Residential Management Inc.,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.: DA530101B

                                   PETITIONER
          ------------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review of an order issued on February 25, 1992 concerning the 
          housing accommodations known as 1921-1937 Seventh Avenue, New York, 
          New York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined the tenants' 
          complaint of decreased building-wide services.

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

          Various tenants commenced this proceeding by filing a complaint 
          asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain services in 
          the subject premises, including cellar storage space allocated to 
          each apartment.

          In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in the 
          complaint, asserted that certain services had been eliminated prior 
          to applicable base date, or otherwise asserted that all required 
          repairs had been or will be completed.  The owner stated, among 
          other things, that the property was purchased in 1987 and that  the 
          storage was eliminated for security reasons, since the area was not 
          being used for its intended purpose.

          Thereafter, an inspection of the subject premises was conducted by 
          a DHCR inspector who reported that the cellar storage space 
          contained paint cans and construction material.

          The owner was notified of the results of the inspection and 
          submitted evidence that various defective conditions had been 












          GC530080RO

          corrected or that repairs were under way.  However, the owner 
          denied that there was ever a storage room in the basement.

          Based on the record, the Rent Administrator issued an order, 
          finding that storage space was a base date service that had been 
          eliminated, reducing the rent, and directing the owner to restore 
          the service.

          In this petition for administrative review, the owner reiterates 
          that the building never contained any storage space and asserts 
          that the cubicles in the basement/cellar area were horse stables.  
          The owner also points to the initial 1984 building services 
          registration which does not list storage space.

          Several long-term tenants responded that the storage space was a 
          service included in the rent since they took occupancy.  Some noted 
          that they continued to use the space for storage notwithstanding 
          that the area was not secure and not maintained properly.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the petition should be denied.

          Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is 
          required to order a rent reduction, upon application by a tenant, 
          where it is found that an owner has failed to maintain required 
          services.  Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction 
          Regulations, the DHCR may order a rent reduction where it is found 
          that the owner has failed to maintain essential services or other 
          items previously provided on the base date or thereafter.

          The owner's petition does not establish any basis for modifying or 
          revoking the Rent Administrator's order which determined that the 
          owner was not maintaining storage space services.  The evidence of 
          record indicates that storage space was a base date service.  The 
          owner's assertion below, that storage bins were not being used for 
          storage purposes and consequently were removed, does not constitute 
          adequate grounds for termination of the service.  The owner's bare 
          assertion on appeal that the compartments were horse stables is not 
          plausible and is dismissed as being without merit.           

          The owner's reliance on the initial 1984 building services 
          registration as a bar to the complaint because the registration did 
          not list storage space is misplaced.  The registration did not 
          create a new base date for services and the tenants' apparent 
          failure to object to the registration did not act as a bar to 
          subsequent complaints of decreased service.  Tenants can assert 
          reductions of base date services at any time.


          Evidence submitted by the parties in the administrative review 
          proceedings could not be used as it was beyond the scope of review, 
          which is strictly limited to the evidence and issues presented to 






          GC530080RO

          the Rent Administrator for consideration.

          The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted 
          by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this 
          order.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
          and the Rent and Eviction Law and Regulations for New York City, 
          it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and 
          that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, 
          affirmed.
                    


          ISSUED:






                                                                     
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner  






    

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