HE530100.R0



                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                                  92-31 UNION HALL
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433





          ------------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE          ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                                    DOCKET NO.: HE530100RO

                    45 Tiemann Associates,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.: GH530005B

                                   PETITIONER
          ------------------------------------x

                      ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR 
                          ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW, IN PART  

          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review (PAR) of an order issued on April 8, 1993 concerning the 
          housing accommodations known as 45 Tiemann Avenue, New York, 
          New York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined that certain 
          conditions found in the subject building constituted services 
          decreases.

          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.

          The tenants commenced this proceeding by filing a complaint 
          asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain services in 
          the subject building.

          In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in the 
          complaint or otherwise asserted that all required repairs had been 
          or will be completed.

          Thereafter, an inspection of the subject premises was conducted by 
          a DHCR inspector who confirmed the existence of several defective 
          conditions.  The inspector reported that there was evidence of 
          debris in the courtyard, of defective windows in the stairwell from 
          the basement to the roof, peeling paint on radiators and covers, 
          chipped lobby marble steps, and a severed stoop lightpost showing 
          sharp edges.












          HE530100.R0

          The Rent Administrator directed repairs and restoration of these 
          services, and further, ordered rent reductions.

          In its petition for administrative review, the owner argues, in 
          substance, that the defective conditions cited were vague and did 
          not correspond to the allegations made in the complaint.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the petition should be granted in part.

          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 
          services.  Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations 
          provides that the Rent Administrator may order a decrease of the 
          legal rent if there has been a decrease in essential services which 
          may include, but are not limited to, repair, painting, and 
          maintenance.

          The tenants' complaint detailed the conditions that the tenants 
          sought to have corrected.  Service of the tenants' complaint gave 
          the owner adequate due process notice of the conditions.  An 
          inspection of the subject premises by the DHCR inspector confirmed 
          several specific conditions listed in the tenants' complaint.  The 
          inspector's report of his observations allowed the Rent 
          Administrator to determine that the owner was not maintaining 
          required and essential services, for which rent reductions were 
          warranted.

          Notwithstanding the above, that part of the inspector's report 
          setting forth that there was "evidence of defective windows in 
          stairwell" did not reflect the conditions observed, but rather, the 
          inspector's conclusion from his observations.  The owner claims 
          that the windows were not defective.  The inspector's statement was 
          insufficient as evidence upon which the Administrator could 
          determine whether or not the window conditions observed constituted 
          a services decrease.  Moveover, the authority to determine whether 
          a condition constitutes a defect so as to warrant a rent reduction 
          lies with the Rent Administrator, not the inspector.  Lacking the 
          evidence upon which to base a determination, defective windows must 
          be rescinded as a basis for a rent reduction.  The tenants may file 
          a new complaint regarding the defective stairwell window 
          conditions, if any, the owner has failed to correct.

          The owner is correct that current rent stabilized tenants who did 
          not sign the complaint below are not entitled to a rent reduction.  
          However, all rent controlled tenants properly received a rent 
          reduction since at least one rent controlled tenant signed the 
          complaint.


          The owner's argument that certain conditions were tenant-induced 






          HE530100.R0

          ignores the owner's responsibility to correct them promptly.

          The owner may file a rent restoration application if the facts so 
          warrant.

          The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted 
          by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this 
          order and opinion.

          The refund of any rent arrears that may be due the owner from rent 
          controlled tenants, as a result of rescinding the rent reduction 
          for defective windows is stayed pending further consideration of 
          this matter.

          Rent arrears may be due the owner from rent stabilized tenants who 
          did not sign the complaint but who received rent abatements.  The 
          arrears shall be paid in monthly installments equal in number to 
          the monthly reductions taken.

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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in 
          part, to the extent of revoking the rent reduction granted to rent 
          controlled tenants based on the finding of defective windows as a 
          basis for a rent reduction.  These proceedings are remanded to the 
          Rent Administrator for further consideration of the tenants' 
          complaint of defective windows, as provided above.  In all other 
          respects, the Rent Administrator's order is affirmed. 
                   


          ISSUED:






                                                                     
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner  






    

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