STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL
JAMAICA, NY 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.:
Shri Maun Deananauth
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 28, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition for
administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on June 17, 1993, by
the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommodation known
as 330 Lewis Avenue, Apt. 2-A, Brooklyn, N.Y., wherein the
Administrator determined that a reduction in rent was warranted
based upon a reduction in services.
The Rent Administrator also directed full restoration of services.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and
has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the
issue raised by the administrative appeal.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly reduced
the rent of Apartment 2-A, based upon a reduction in services.
On September 3, 1991, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that
the owner failed to furnish various building-wide services as
required by law. The tenant stated, among other things, that the
owner's padlock on the mailbox is defective, allowing the mail to
be retrieved by anyone.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint alleging that it
constantly makes repairs and provides services to the tenant. The
owner further alleged that, when tenants lose their mailbox key,
the key cannot be duplicated and the tenants install a padlock
A DHCR inspection conducted on April 19, 1993, revealed that
although the owner was maintaining some services; others were not
being maintained. More specifically, the inspection showed that
the owner failed to maintain the following services:
1. Mail box for Apartment 2-A is defective. It is locked
with a padlock and mail can be pulled out.
2. Janitor service, building-wide.
The results of this inspection were sent to the owner on May 11,
1993 with instructions to submit proof within twenty-one days that
all conditions were corrected. The owner did not respond and the
Rent Administrator issued the rent reduction order appealed herein.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
services were being maintained prior to April 19, 1993, the date of
the DHCR inspection. Additionally, the owner claimed that the
subject apartment is rent controlled rather than rent stabilized.
The petition was served on the tenant on July 27, 1993, and on
August 10, 1993, the tenant filed an answer which is not responsive
to the petition.
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record, the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal
should be denied.
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 guideline 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.
Required services are defined in Section 2520.6(r) to include
repairs and maintenance.
A review of the record before the Rent Administrator clearly shows
that the owner failed to submit any credible evidence that the
deficiencies noted on the inspector's report were completed in a
workmanlike manner at the time of the DHCR's inspection or at any
time prior to the issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
In fact, the owner failed to file any answer to the Rent
Administrator's May 11, 1993 Request For Additional Information
which afforded the owner an opportunity to correct those service
deficiencies noted in the inspection report.
The Commissioner notes that Division records reveal that, contrary
to the owner's allegations, the subject apartment is rent
stabilized and not rent controlled and further notes that the
allegation that the tenant caused the defective condition with the
mailbox is not substantiated by the owner.
The Commissioner finds, therefore, that the Administrator properly
based his determination on the entire record, including the results
of the on-site physical inspection conducted on April 19, 1993, and
that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the Administrator
was mandated to reduce the rent upon determining that the owner had
failed to maintain services.
Clearly, the owner has offered insufficient reason to disturb the
Rent Administrator's determination.
The owner's entitlement to rent restoration will be determined in
a separate proceeding.
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.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, it is,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA