STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: GC530080RO
Residential Management Inc.,
DOCKET NO.: DA530101B
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
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
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
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
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
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
and the Rent and Eviction Law and Regulations for New York City,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA