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.: HI110076RT
DOCKET NO.: GJ110096OR
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named tenant filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on September 16, 1993 concerning the
housing accommodation known as 85-29 114 Street, Apartment 1B,
Queens, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined the
owner's rent restoration application.
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 owner commenced the proceeding by filing an application to
restore rent previously reduced per Docket No. FK110114S. The
owner asserted, among other things, that the tenant had refused to
permit the owner access to restore the services which were the
basis of the rent reduction order issued on October 14, 1992.
The same allegations had been made in the underlying rent reduction
proceedings. The record therein confirmed that the tenant would
allow access grudgingly, after extensive communication between the
parties, or in connection with judicial or other City and DHCR
administrative proceedings. The record therein further established
that once the owner obtained access the repairs that were
undertaken were not completed in a workmanlike manner. The tenant
also conceded therein that she refused access thereafter,
contending that it would have been futile since the owner had
failed to complete repairs properly when he was given the
opportunity. The Commissioner denied the owner's appeal of the
rent reduction order based on, among other things, that the owner
did not establish that the tenant's interference had prevented the
owner from completing the repairs in a workmanlike manner.
In light of the tenant's admission in the previous proceedings that
access would be denied the owner, the Rent Administrator's
precaution of scheduling a "no-access" inspection to insure relief
for both parties was appropriate. The "no-access" inspection was
warranted to insure that the owner obtained access to make repairs
on the scheduled date and to protect the tenant's right to prompt
repairs completed in a workmanlike manner.
Both the tenant and owner and/or his representatives were directed
to be present at the above apartment on July 16, 1993 at 10:00 a.m.
As the parties were scheduled for a City Housing Court appearance
on that day, at their request the "no-access" inspection was
rescheduled for July 23, 1993 with the consent of both parties.
The notice of inspection (for access) advised the owner and the
tenant, among other things, that "Failure of the owner and/or the
repair persons to be present and ready to attend to repairs and/or
restore services or failure of the tenant to keep this appointment
will result in a determination based solely on the evidence
presently in this record."
Thereafter, noting that she had made an error in failing to note a
scheduling conflict, the tenant requested a second change of the
"no-access" inspection. The tenant was advised by a letter dated
July 20, 1993 that further rescheduling required agreement from
both sides, particularly in light of the short time frame, and that
the owner, who had scheduled his workmen, would not agree to
The tenant failed to provide access to two DHCR inspectors and the
owner on July 23, 1993. Based thereon, the Rent Administrator
deemed the services restored, and reinstated the lawful rent.
In this petition for administrative review, the tenant asserts that
"consideration of the equities warrants approval of [the tenant's]
PAR" request to reopen the proceedings below to permit an
inspection. However, the tenant's assertions in the petition,
disputing a finding concerning a kitchen outlet and stating that
evidence of the tenant's appearance in Housing Court on July 16,
1993, was submitted in Enforcement Unit harassment proceedings, do
not raise matters warranting equity consideration, nor establish
that the Rent Administrator erred in granting rent restoration
based on the tenant's failure to give access to the DHCR inspector.
In subsequent submissions the tenant argues that as the parties had
mutually consented to an adjournment of the July 16, 1993
inspection due to a Court appearance with the owner, the tenant's
request to adjourn the July 23, 1993 "no-access" inspection
constituted the tenant's first request for a postponement, so as to
suggest that such a first postponement without prejudice was a
matter of right.
There is, in fact, no "right" to have at least one adjournment of
a "no access" inspection. While the Rent Administrator may
accommodate the parties' requests for adjournments, the decision to
do so is left to the Rent Administrator's sound discretion. In
light of the record, the fact that a "no-access" inspection
requires a significant allocation of the DHCR's limited inspection
staff and resources to conduct inspections and to be present during
the repairs, and the fact that the owner had stated that workmen
were scheduled and were prepared to complete repairs, the Rent
Administrator's order restoring rent predicated on the tenant's
failure to grant access was correct, neither arbitrary nor an abuse
of discretion and should be affirmed.
The fact that the tenant's occupation as a flight attendant
allegedly precluded her presence at the "no-access" inspection is
also insufficient to warrant reconsideration. The tenant's
unwillingness or inability to make arrangements to provide access
should not prejudice or delay the owner's right to a rent
restoration predicated on the owner's readiness, ability and
willingness to complete repairs.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that the tenant's petition fails
to establish any basis for modifying or revoking the Rent
The owner remains obligated to correct the defective conditions
upon obtaining access to effect repairs.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be and the same hereby is, denied, and
that the Rent Administrator's order be and the same hereby is,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA