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.: HC430023RO
E.F.M. Realty Corp.,
DOCKET NO.: EK430027B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING, IN PART, OWNER'S
PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on February 5, 1993 concerning the
housing accommodations known as 124 Fort George Avenue, Brooklyn,
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.
Three rent stabilized tenants commenced this proceeding by filing
a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain
services in the subject premises. No rent controlled tenants
signed the complaint. Nor was it indicated that any of the signers
was designated the ten`mvq' representative.
In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in the
Thereafter, the DHCR conducted an inspection of the subject
building. The DHCR inspector observed that the building had three
sections A,B, and C, that the A section entrance door lock was
defective and the B and C entrance doors did not have locks, that
the A,B, and C fourth and fifth floors' walls and ceilings were
stained and had peeling plaster and paint, and that the light
fixture above the mailboxes in the A section was not working.
Other alleged defective conditions were not confirmed.
The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services and
further, ordered a reduction of the stabilization and controlled
In this petition for administrative review, the owner, in
substance, questions whether there was an inspection, asserts that
it was entitled to notice of the reswl4q of the inspection, if any,
argues that the rent reduction was limited to the three stabilized
tenants who signed the complaint, and contends that inspections in
prior proceedings had established that all services are maintained.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be granted, in part.
The owner's suggestion that there was no inspection by the DHCR is
groundless and is belied by the record; the owner could have
confirmed that the proceedings were processed properly merely by
filing a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) Application to examine
The owner continues that, if there was an inspection, the DHCR
should have followed the practice that gives the owner notice of
the inspection results if the inspection reveals that at least 50%
of the items in the complaint have been corrected, so as to provide
the owner an opportunity to complete repairs before any order is
issued. In fact, an opportunity to complete repairs has not been
provided to owners when there were hazardous conditions among the
items remaining to be corrected. Broken, missing, or inoperative
doors or locks at any building entrance (other than doors not
required to be locked) have been deemed to be hazardous conditions
warranting a building-wide rent reduction, notwithstanding the 50%
The owner further alludes to previous separate proceedings where
the same conditions were not confirmed or were found to have been
repaired. However, the fact that defective conditions were not
found previously in other proceedings does not preclude their
occurrence or reoccurrence as furnishing a basis for a rent
reduction in subsequent proceedings.
The owner is correct, however, that the rent reduction should have
been limited to the three rent stabilized tenants who signed the
complaint. Only the rent stabilized tenants that sign the
complaint benefit from a rent reduction. No rent controlled
tenants were entitled to a rent reduction because the complaint was
not signed by at least one rent controlled tenant.
Rent arrears may be due the owner from various tenants as a result
of this order. Any arrears shall be paid in equal monthly
installments at the amount of the monthly rent reduction, revoked
herein, until such arrears are eliminated.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
and the City Rent and Eviction Regulations, it is
ORDERED, that the owner's petition for administrative review be and
the same hereby is granted, in part, in that the Rent
Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, revoked as to
tenants who did not sign the complaint. The Rent Administrator's
order is affirmed as to the three tenants (Apartments B,C and B16)
that signed the complaint.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA