STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NOS.: HC110077RO
OCEAN LEASING COMPANY,
DOCKET NO.: FB110029RK
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed timely petitions for administrative
review of orders issued by the Rent Administrator concerning the
housing accommodations known as 22-11 New Haven Avenue, Apartment
6F, Queens, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator originally and
upon reconsideration determined the tenant's complaint of a
reduction of services.
The Commissioner has reviewed all the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered the portions of the record relevant to the
issues raised by the petitions.
The tenant commenced this proceeding on July 2, 1990 by filing a
complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain
services in the subject apartment. In pertinent part, the tenant
alleged that the paint was falling off the bathroom walls, that the
bathtub hot and cold water knobs were reversed, the paint was
peeling from the bathtub and that a new lock was required for the
In an answer dated August 27, 1990, the owner, in regard to those
items that are the subject matter of this review, responded that
the bathroom was painted and that the bathtub faucet knobs had been
switched back to their proper location.
Thereafter, an inspection of the subject apartment was conducted on
September 24, 1990 by a DHCR inspector, who reported in pertinent
part, that the bathroom walls and ceilings were plastered in an
unworkmanlike manner, noting parenthetically "not painted", and
that there was a leak from the bathtub hot water faucet and knob.
Based on the results of the inspection on October 9, 1990, the Rent
Administrator issued the order per Docket No. EG110015S reducing
the tenant's rent effective August 1, 1990.
The owner filed a petition for administrative review, and a request
for reconsideration stating, in substance, that neither of the
conditions for the rent reduction were included in the tenant's
On February 28, 1991, the Rent Administrator issued a "Notice of
Commencement of Proceeding to Reconsider the Previous Order." The
notice indicated that the inspector checked the bathroom ceiling
and walls as requested and that it is in the record that the
bathroom walls and ceiling were plastered in an unworkmanlike
manner, and that the instruction to a typist to prepare the order,
abbreviated bathroom as "B" but was typed as "bedroom." The notice
also set forth that the inspector did not find the water faucet
knob conditions cited in the complaint but found "other defects
which should have not been included in [the] order".
An inspection was conducted on November 30, 1992 by a DHCR
inspector who reported that the bathroom ceiling was uneven, noting
parenthetically that it was unworkmanlike, but that it had been
painted, that there was no evidence of defective bathroom walls,
and that the bathtub faucet knobs had been installed in the proper
place, but that the hot water faucet was leaking and the cold water
faucet knob was loose.
Based on the inspection results, on February 16, 1993 the Rent
Administrator issued a new order per Docket No. FB110029RK
modifying the initial rent reduction order to reflect the
aforementioned inspector's findings, and ordering an amended
effective date of the rent reduction, October 1, 1992, the first
day of the month following notification to the owner of the
tenant's response in the reconsideration proceeding.
In the petition for administrative review of the modification
order, the owner argues that the latest order is erroneous for
several reasons. The owner asserts that the tenant never requested
a rent reduction for either the bathroom ceiling or the faucet
leak, that the notice of reconsideration wherein it was expressly
stated that the issue of the faucet leak "should not have been
included in the order" constituted an order which the tenant did
not appeal, that the owner was never notified that the faucet leak
would become an issue, that the order contradicts the notice of
reconsideration, and that the leak condition does not constitute a
reduction in services.
After careful consideration the Commissioner is of the opinion that
the petitions should be granted, as more fully set forth below.
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
The Rent Administrator initially granted the tenant a rent reduc-
tion based on the fact that the bathtub hot water leaked after
repairs, and that the bathroom walls and ceiling were defective.
The inspection, conducted on November 30, 1992 in connection with
the reconsideration proceedings per Docket No. FB110029RK also
revealed a hot water faucet leak and ceiling defects, but found no
evidence of defects on bathroom walls, and thus the condition was
not cited as a predicate for the rent reduction when the effective
date of the rent reduction was modified to October 1, 1992. In
the absence of a timely petition for administrative review by the
tenant requesting review, the Commissioner is precluded from
considering whether the tenant is entitled to a rent reduction for
any period for the bathroom wall defects.
The conditions reported by the inspector and cited in the Rent
Administrator's order of modification were not the conditions cited
in the complaint, and must therefore be revoked. As a result,
there is no longer any basis for a rent reduction.
The Commissioner further notes that the owner submitted a request
questioning whether there was an automatic stay of the rent arrears
owed the owner by the tenant as a result of the order modifying the
effective date of the rent reduction from July 1, 1990 to October
1, 1992. In light of the instant order and opinion the owner's
request has been rendered moot.
Rent arrears due the owner from the tenant shall be paid in monthly
installments equal in number to the months the arrears accumulated.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law & Code,
ORDERED, that the petitions per Docket Nos. EJ110210RO and
HC110077RO be, granted, and that the rent reduction granted by the
Rent Administrator be revoked as there is no predicate for any rent
reduction to the tenant.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA