GD420175RO
                                  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
          APPEALS OF                                   DOCKET NOS.:
                                                       GD420175RO
                                                       GD420176RO
                                                       GD420178RO
               London Terrace Associates,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NOS.:
                                                       FA420032S
                                                       FC420646S
                                                       FA420041S
                                   PETITIONER
          ------------------------------------x

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          The above-named owner filed timely petitions for administrative 
          review of orders concerning the housing accommodations located at 
          410 West 24th Street, Apartments 7C, 7G, and 7K, wherein the Rent 
          Administrator determined the tenants' individual complaints of 
          decreased services.

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

          The tenants commenced these proceedings by filing individual 
          complaints asserting that the owner had failed to maintain intercom 
          system services to their apartments.

          In separate answers, the owner denied the allegations set forth in 
          the complaints, and asserted that required services were maintained 
          in that the owner was "employing a substitute service providing an 
          equivalent degree of security and convenience at no cost to the 
          tenants."  The owner did not specify the nature of the substitute 
          service.  The owner also alleged that the tenants' complaints were 
          duplicative of a prior complaint of a defective intercom system 
          that was dismissed by the Rent Administrator, and affirmed by the 
          Commissioner upon administrative appeal by the tenants.

          Thereafter, the DHCR conducted inspections of the intercom 
          equipment in the subject apartments.  The inspector reported that 












          GD420175RO

          the intercom stations in the apartments were not functioning.  The 
          inspector did not report on the existence of a substitute intercom 
          service as alleged by the owner.

          The Rent Administrator directed the owner to restore the intercom 
          service and further, ordered a reduction of the controlled rents.

          In its petitions for administrative review, the owner reiterates 
          that as the owner is providing a substitute service, rent 
          reductions were not warranted.  The owner, for the first time on 
          appeal, states that the system is incorporated into the tenants' 
          regular telephone service.  The owner explains that the system is 
          equipped so that the tenants can reach the lobby attendant promptly 
          by a toll-free number, and that the tenants' phones have a call- 
          waiting feature so that they can be reached by building personnel 
          even when their phones are otherwise in use.  The owner reiterates 
          that the system provides an equivalent degree of security and 
          convenience at no cost to the tenant as well as the assertion that 
          a prior complaint of a defective intercom system was dismissed.

          Each tenant was served a copy of the owner's petition of the order 
          affecting their apartment.  In answer to the owner's petition, the 
          tenant of Apartment 7K (GD120178RO) alleged that there is no toll- 
          free telephone number, that she is charged for calling the lobby 
          attendant through the telephone equipment, and that there is no 
          call-waiting feature whereby a tenant can be signaled from the 
          lobby even if the tenant is otherwise engaged in a telephone 
          conversation.       

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the owner's petitions should be denied.

          Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the City Rent and Eviction 
          Regulations, the Rent Administrator may impose a rent reduction if 
          there has been a decrease in essential services, furnishings or 
          equipment among other items.  

          Section 2202.21 of the Regulations requires an owner to file an 
          application to obtain prior permission to decrease such items in 
          occupied rent controlled apartments.  Conversion of equipment may 
          only be undertaken by application because a change from a separate 
          intercom system connecting the apartment to other building 
          locations, to a system operating through the tenants' telephone 
          equipment, depending upon the facts in the case may result in a 
          decrease in services.   



          There is no evidence or assertion that the owner ever applied to 
          the DHCR for an order granting the owner permission to modify or 
          substitute the intercom system services.  Since there was no such 
          order, the Rent Administrator properly decreased the tenants' rents 






          GD420175RO

          based upon a finding of decreased services, in that the intercom 
          system was not operating.  The Commissioner also rejects the 
          owner's further argument that a dismissal of the tenants' 
          complaints was warranted, based on the fact that the tenants' prior 
          complaint under Docket No. DD430041B was dismissed by the DHCR on 
          September 24, 1990, on the grounds that the intercom was  
          operational.  The fact that the intercom was operational at that 
          time does not preclude a finding that the equipment was not 
          operational thereafter, as confirmed upon inspection. 

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the City Rent and Eviction 
          Regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that the owner's petitions be, and the same hereby are, 
          denied, and that the Rent Administrator's orders be, and the same 
          hereby, are affirmed.  
                  


          ISSUED:






                                                                     
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner  















    

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