GK410200RT
                                  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.:
                                                       GK410200RT
               Various Tenants, Petitioner-tenants

                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.:
                                                       FH430040RP
          ------------------------------------x


             ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING, IN PART, TENANTS' PETITION FOR
                                ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          Various tenants filed a timely petition for administrative review 
          of an order issued by the Rent Administrator concerning the housing 
          accommodations known as 1689 First Avenue, New York, New York, 
          wherein  the Rent Administrator determined the tenants' complaint 
          of various decreased building-wide services.

          In 1984, the DHCR granted the owner's major capital improvement 
          (MCI) application (LCS000321OM) for the installation of "security 
          system" consisting of a vestibule intercom system and two new 
          locked front entrance doors, an outer door and an inner vestibule 
          door.  After a review of the record from Docket No. LCS000321OM, it 
          does not appear that the cost of the front entrance door lock was 
          included in the MCI rent increase application.  The owner 
          subsequently removed the lock on the outer door asserting that the 
          City Fire Department had issued a violation for the locked outer 
          door.

          Subsequently, the Rent Administrator issued rent reduction orders 
          determining tenants' complaints of, among other things, that the 
          owner had removed the lock from the outer front door, as more fully 
          set forth below.

          On November 29, 1985, the Rent Administrator determined the  
          tenants' complaint under U000852B and reduced the tenants' rent 
          based on a finding that the owner had removed the lock from the 
          outer door and replaced it with a dummy lock, and that mailbox 
          equipment was defective.  The owner filed a rent restoration 
          application (AJ430092OR) which was granted on September 9, 1987, 
          and which was affirmed upon administrative review BI410291RT.  For 












          GK410200RT

          rent stabilized tenants, this rent reduction was in effect from 
          January 1, 1985 to October 30, 1986.  For rent controlled tenants, 
          the rent reduction was in effect from December 1, 1985 to September 
          30, 1987.  Notwithstanding any other findings herein, these 
          determinations were final and are not subject to modification or 
          revocation.

          The tenants also commenced separate complaint proceedings processed 
          under AJ430075B, based on and incorporating an inspection report 
          dated July 14, 1986, conducted at the request of the agency's 
          Enforcement Bureau in connection with then pending harassment 
          proceedings.  On June 26, 1987, the Rent Administrator issued an 
          order that granted a rent reduction predicated on findings that 
          there was no lock on the building's front door.  The tenants and 
          the owner both petitioned for administrative review under 
          BG430274RO and BG430158RT.  

          The Commissioner granted the owner's petition to revoke the order 
          under AJ4300075B, finding that the rent reduction was duplicative 
          of U000852B insofar as it also cited the missing front door lock.  
          The Commissioner also granted the tenants' appeal per BG430158RT, 
          and remanded the proceedings for consideration of various other 
          conditions cited in the tenants' complaint by way of reference to 
          the Enforcement inspection.  The proceedings culminated in an Order 
          Pursuant to Remand under FH430040RP, dated October 12, 1992.  
          Therein, the Rent Administrator reiterated the Commissioner's 
          directive to revoke the rent reduction granted for lack of an 
          operable lock on the front door.  In addition, based on the record, 
          including a new inspection, the Rent Administrator found that the 
          additional conditions remanded for consideration were found to have 
          been restored or maintained.  The order noted that notice was sent 
          to the owner for additional information regarding the replacement 
          of the rear yard side fence, and that the owner submitted a paid 
          bill of work completed in June 1992.

          The tenants filed a petition for administrative review seeking to 
          reverse the order.  The tenants contend:  that for building safety, 
          the owner should be required to restore a lock on the front door; 
          that the effective date of the order predates the correction of one 
          of the deficient conditions, specifically that a missing section of 
          fence was not replaced until June 9, 1992; and that it was replaced 
          by wrought iron, resulting in diminished building security, whereas 
          the fence section should have been replaced with chain link like 
          the remainder of the fence.  In addition, the tenants complain that 
          a gate has been constructed in the main chain link fence, 
          apparently as a means of egress from the playground behind the 
          building; that the inner front door lock sticks and does not 
          consistently lock due to improper installation; the tenants also 
          dispute that an inspection was conducted by the Division on April 
          20, 1992 because such date does not appear on the building's 
          certificate of inspection; and the tenants state that they are 
          unclear as to the effect of this order and the effective date and 






          GK410200RT

          ask that, in order to properly and completely respond to the order 
          that they be provided with a "complete list of all items" covered 
          by it.
           
          The effect of the order per FH430040RP herein under review  was to 
          revoke the rent reduction under AJ430075B, based on findings that 
          the various deficient conditions, as contained in the 4-page 
          inspection report of the Enforcement Bureau, had all been corrected 
          prior to the determination, and that the issue of the defective 
          front door lock had already been the subject of a previous rent 
          reduction.  It is noted that the rent reduction order had an 
          effective date of December 1, 1986 for the rent stabilized tenants 
          which was the first rent payment date after service on the owner of 
          the tenants' complaint.  The order had been effective the first 
          rent payment date after the issuance date of June 26, 1987 for rent 
          controlled tenants.

          The tenants contend that the order revoking the rent reduction was 
          not warranted.  However, their argument alleging diminished 
          security until the wrought iron fence was replaced by chain link 
          ignores the fact that the record indicates that the tenants' 
          original complaint, which referred to and incorporated the 
          inspection report of the Enforcement Bureau, listed the replacement 
          of the section of wrought iron fence on the side of the building as 
          the condition to be remedied.  Since the item referred to is a 
          wrought iron fence, the tenants' contention is beyond the scope of 
          review, which is strictly limited to the facts and evidence before 
          the Rent Administrator.  

          The tenants point out that the missing section of wrought iron 
          fence was not replaced until June 9, 1992, as reflected in the Rent 
          Administrator's order, suggesting that it confirms the service 
          decrease warranting reinstatement of the rent reduction in the 
          first instance.  Full reinstatement of the rent reduction is not 
          warranted in light of the owner's  reliance on the Rent 
          Administrator's prior determination under AJ430075B, which did not 
          set forth any other defective conditions requiring repairs, and the 
          tenants' unwarranted demand to replace, rather than repair, the 
          wrought iron fence with chain link.  However, a limited reduction 
          is appropriate for rent stabilized tenants only, based on further 
          notice to the owner in the Commissioner's order per 
          BG430274RO/BG430158RT remanding the proceeding for further 
          consideration of the tenants' complaints.  Their rent is reduced by 
          the percentage of the most recent guideline increase before the 
          issue date of the Commissioner's  order remanding the proceedings 
          effective November 1, 1991.  The rent reduction is terminated as of 
          June 30, 1992, based on the fact the equipment had been replaced 
          during the proceedings on remand.  No rent reduction was warranted 
          for rent controlled tenants.  Since the condition was corrected 
          prior to the date the order was issued, there was no predicate for 
          rent reductions under rent control, which only take effect 
          prospectively for conditions which have not been corrected.












          GK410200RT


          Concerning the issue of front door lock, the Commissioner notes 
          that Section 25-121, Title 28, Rules of the City of New York, (cite 
          as 28RCNY25-121), relating to entrance door locks and 
          intercommunication systems, provides, in relevant part, that:

               (c)  Where an entrance door leading from a vestibule to 
               the main entrance hall or lobby is equipped with one or 
               more automatic self-closing and self-locking doors, the 
               entrance door from the street to the vestibule need not 
               be equipped with automatic self-closing and self-locking 
               doors.

               (d)  Every entrance from the street, yard or cellar to a 
               class A multiple dwelling erected or converted after 
               January 1, 1968 containing eight or more apartments shall 
               be equipped with automatic self-closing and self-locking 
               doors.  Such multiple dwelling, as aforesaid, shall also 
               be equipped with an intercommunication system to be 
               located at the required main entrance doors.

               (e)  On or after January 1, 1969, every entrance from the 
               street, court, yard or cellar to a class A multiple 
               dwelling erected or converted prior to January 1, 1968 
               containing eight or more apartments, provided that a 
               majority of tenants in occupancy request or consent in 
               writing, shall be equipped with automatic self-closing 
               and self-locking doors and shall also be equipped with an 
               intercommunication system.

               (f)  Every self-locking door required under this section 
               shall be installed and maintained so as to be readily 
               operable from the inside without the use of keys.

               (g)  The minimal devices acceptable for the 
               intercommunication system shall be a bell or buzzer 
               system, or a speaking and listening device to permit 
               communication by voice between the occupant of each 
               apartment and a person outside such required main 
               entrance door, and a return buzzer mechanism to release 
               or open the lock to the aforesaid required door.



               (h)  The bell and intercommunication system shall be 
               located at the required main entrance door so that a 
               person may readily reach the door when the unlocking 
               buzzer is activated.

               i)  No push button device shall be more than six feet 
               from the floor and the speaking and listening device 
               shall be installed to be not less than four feet and not 






          GK410200RT

               more than five feet from the floor.

               (j)  The device or devices for the intercommunication 
               system installed in the apartment shall be readily 
               accessible to the occupant.          

          Per 28RCNY25-121 cited above, the owner is not required to install 
          a front door lock if the vestibule door is properly secured, self- 
          closing and self-locking, and is not required to place the intercom 
          panel outside the building's front door.  The rent reduction 
          granted for the condition under AJ430075B was properly revoked by 
          the Rent Administrator, albeit on grounds that it was duplicative.  
          The tenants' request to reinstate the rent reduction for the 
          defective front door lock, in whole or in part, is rejected herein 
          on grounds that it was not warranted in the first instance.
              
          The Commissioner notes that the Commissioner addresses this same 
          issue in other tenants' petitions per DH430288RT and CA430171RT, 
          appealing previous rent reduction and rent restoration orders per 
          CK430129OR and BD430147OR and resolves the appeals in conformity 
          with the instant decision.
           
          If rent arrears are due the owner from a tenant as a result of this 
          order, arrears may be paid by the tenant in equal monthly 
          installments at the amount of the underlying monthly rent 
          reduction.  If, on the other hand, any tenant paid excess rent, it 
          shall be credited to the tenant, in full, commencing with the 
          rental payment immediately following the issuance of this order.

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

          ORDERED, that the tenants' petition for administrative review, 
          GK410200RT, be granted in part; and that the Rent Administrator's 
          order be amended to reflect a rent reduction for the stabilized 
          tenants, effective September 1, 1991 through June 30, 1992 
          inclusive.
           
          ISSUED:
                                                                     
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner  






    

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