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.: HI130039RO
DOCKET NO.: GA130046B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on August 20, 1993, concerning the
housing accommodations known as 17-20 Woodbine Street, Queens, New
York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined the tenants'
complaint of a decrease in building 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.
The tenants commenced this proceeding by filing a complaint
asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain services in
the subject building. The tenants claimed that the new owner had
eliminated basement storage space services that had been provided
by previous owners.
In an answer, the owner responded that he had purchased the
building in 1991, and asserted that basement storage space was not
a service because it was not registered in the initial 1984
services registration, for which the tenants failed to file
Thereafter, the DHCR conducted an inspection of the subject
building. The DHCR inspector observed that there were two occupied
storage spaces in the basement, and reported that the tenant of
Apartment 3L stated that "one belongs to the landlord and the other
belongs to the tenant of Apt. 1L."
In his order the Rent Administrator directed restoration of the
services and further, ordered a reduction of the stabilization rent
for the complaining tenants.
In the petition for administrative review, the owner, in substance,
asserts that storage space was never a required service provided by
the owner under the definition of required services set forth in
Section 2520.6(r) of the Rent Stabilization Code.
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that the petition should be denied.
Section 2520.6(r) of the Code defines required services as that
space and those services which the owner was maintaining or was
required to maintain on the applicable base date, and any
additional space or services provided or required to be provided
thereafter. The DHCR and its predecessor agencies have
consistently applied Section 2520.6(r) and superseded regulations
to find a reduction of service by owners that eliminate storage
The owner's reliance below on the initial 1984 building services
registration as a bar to the complaint (because the tenants'
allegedly failed to object to the then owner's registration that
did not list storage space) is misplaced. The tenants' failure to
object to the registration did not act as a bar to subsequent
complaints of decreased services. Tenants can assert reductions of
required services at any time.
It is noted that the owner did not argue before the Rent
Administrator that storage space was never provided. Nor does the
owner so state on appeal. In fact, the owner is silent as to the
question of whether storage space was a required service. The
owner's failure to deny the tenants' assertion below, and on
appeal, creates a presumption that the service was, in fact,
Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Code, DHCR is required to order
a rent reduction upon application by a tenant, where it is found
that the owner has failed to maintain required services. The
owner's petition does not establish any basis for modifying or
revoking the Rent Administrator's order which found that owner was
not maintaining required services for which a rent reduction was
The automatic stay of the retroactive rent reduction that resulted
by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this
order and opinion.
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