GJ410182RT, GI410047RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433

          APPEALS OF                                   DOCKET NOS.:
               Adrienne Usdan and Milford
               Management Corp.,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.:

                                ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On September 4, 1992 and September 9, 1992, the above-named 
          petitioner-tenant and owner filed petitions for administrative 
          review (PAR) of an order issued on August 3, 1992, by the Rent 
          Administrator, concerning the housing accommodation known as 55 
          West 14th Street, New York, N.Y., Apt. 11-J, wherein the 
          Administrator determined that a reduction in rent was warranted 
          based upon a reduction in services.

          The Commissioner has consolidated these two petitions as they 
          involve common questions of law and fact.

          The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of 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 administrative appeals.

          The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced 
          the rent of the subject apartment.

          On January 29, 1992, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the 
          owner failed to maintain the stove pilot-light, the refrigerator, 

          GJ410182RT, GI410047RO

          the bathroom and bedroom ceilings; mail services were being 
          interfered with and that odors were emanating from the bathroom 
          pipes and fixtures.

          In answer to the complaint, the owner stated that the tenant has 
          not requested any repairs from the building superintendent and 
          building employees do not tamper with her mail.  The owner enclosed 
          a copy of a letter it sent to the tenant on November 10, 1989, 
          regarding the tenant's request that mail addressed to the tenant at 
          the building be redirected to the tenant's post office box.

          A DHCR inspection conducted on May 11, 1992, revealed that stove 
          pilot-light services were not being maintained but that all other 
          service items enumerated in the complaint were being maintained.  
          The inspector noted that the refrigerator was found disconnected 
          and that the condition of the unit could not be ascertained.

          In a letter dated May 14, 1992, the tenant's attorney stated that 
          the refrigerator was disconnected at the suggestion of inspections 
          from Con Edison who, 46 months ago, noted that the compressor was 
          broken.  The letter advises that the tenant wishes to have the 
          inoperative unit removed so that she can install her own 

          The rent reduction order appealed herein cited only the stove pilot 
          as a condition warranting a rent reduction.
          On appeal, under Docket No. GJ410182RT, the petitioner-tenant 
          asserted, in pertinent part, that the DHCR inspector erred, insofar 
          as the rent reduction ordered by the Rent Administrator should have 
          covered additional service deficiencies enumerated in the complaint 
          and that consequently the rent reduction should have been greater.  

          On appeal, under Docket No. GI410047RO, the petitioner-owner 
          asserted, in pertinent part, that the tenant failed to specify or 
          notify it of any stove problem and that the tenant uses dilatory 
          tactics in providing access to her apartment.

          In Docket No. GJ410182RT, the petition was served on the owner on 
          November 2, 1992.

          In Docket No. GI410047RO, the petition was served on the tenant, on 
          September 24, 1992, and on October 8, 1992, the tenant filed an 
          answer stating that the owner failed to make the necessary repairs 
          and that the owner was generally unresponsive to her repair 

          After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the owner's administrative 
          appeal should be denied and the tenant's should be granted in part.

          GJ410182RT, GI410047RO

          Pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code, a 
          tenant may apply to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal 
          (DHCR) for a reduction of the legal regulated rent to the level in 
          effect prior to the most recent guidelines adjustment, and the DHCR 
          shall so reduce the rent for the period for which it is found that 
          the owner has failed to maintain required services.  The rent 
          reduction may not be greater or less than a guideline regardless of 
          the nature and extent of the service deficiencies.

          Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include 
          repairs, painting and maintenance.

          With regard to the tenant's petition filed under Docket No. 
          GJ410182RT, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the evidence of 
          record supports the tenant's contention regarding the refrigerator.  
          The tenant complained that this appliance was inoperative and the 
          inspector confirmed that it was not working.  The absence of any 
          evidence by the owner regarding attempts to repair, replace, or 
          even investigate the defective unit warrants the inclusion of the 
          inoperative refrigerator among the conditions for which the rent is 

          As to the mail tampering claim, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the DHCR lacks jurisdiction over this matter and the tenant 
          may file a separate complaint with the U.S. Postal Service, if the 
          facts so warrant.  

          With regards to the owner's petition filed under Docket No. 
          GI410047RO, a review of the record before the Administrator clearly 
          shows that the owner did not submit any evidence that the 
          deficiency noted on the inspector's report was completed in a 
          workmanlike manner at the time of the DHCR's inspection or at any 
          time prior to the issuance of the Administrator's order.

          The Commissioner notes that the file is also absent any evidence 
          showing that the tenant failed to provide timely access to the 
          owner's workers.  Accordingly, the owner has not established any 
          basis for modifying or revoking the determination regarding the 
          stove pilot.

          Upon a complete restoration of the refrigerator and the stove 
          pilot, the owner may separately apply for full rent restoration.

          The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted 
          by the filing of the owner's petition is vacated upon issuance of 
          this order and opinion.
          THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code, it is

          ORDERED, that the owner's administrative appeal be and the same 
          hereby is, denied, that the tenant's appeal be and the same hereby 
          is granted in part and that the Administrator's order be, and the 

          GJ410182RT, GI410047RO

          same hereby is, modified to include the inoperative refrigerator as 
          a condition warranting a rent reduction.


                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner  

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