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.: HI430038RO
DOCKET NO.: FA430119B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
AND REVOKING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative
review of an order issued on August 19, 1993 concerning the housing
accommodations known as 45 West 84th Street, New York, New York,
wherein the Rent Administrator determined the tenants' complaint of
a decrease of 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.
Two tenants this proceeding by filing a complaint asserting that
the owner had failed to maintain certain services in the subject
premises. Among other things, the tenants asserted that the owner
had closed one of two hallway toilet/bathroom facilities located on
the fourth floor, which had been available.
The owner answered that several of the single rooms on other floors
had been converted to apartments with their own private facilities,
that only four rooms remained which were all located on the fourth
floor, that two of these units were occupied by the complaining
tenants while the other two remained vacant with the intention of
converting the same to apartments with private facilities. The
owner indicated that a tenant in one of the apartments with a bath
frequently made use of the hallway bathroom facilities. The owner
also stated that there was only one operable bathroom facility for
each floor when the premises were used mainly for single room
One tenant replied, among other things, that "where there were 9
single rooms and 2 full baths, there are now 5 single rooms and one
full bath. Four single rooms were converted to apartments." The
second tenant stated that the "household contains five single
rooms; one on the second floor and four on the fourth floor. All
single room tenants share one bathroom and toilet facility which is
on the fourth floor."
The DHCR conducted an inspection on March 16, 1993. The DHCR
inspector found that there was only one open and operative bathroom
on the fourth floor to which the tenants had access. The inspector
found that other services were being provided.
In this petition for administrative review, the owner requests, in
substance, that the Rent Administrator's order be reversed on the
grounds that there is currently one bathroom in use by three
residents. The owner notes on appeal that the second bathroom had
been added on the fourth floor in 1989.
The tenants stated in the complaint that in 1981 five individuals
had access to two bathroom facilities. An inspection of
registration records reveals six registered tenants in 1989. The
1990 registration shows five of the six 1989 tenants plus a new
tenant at a substantially increased rent. The 1991 registration
shows only two of the six 1989 tenants, a second new tenant at a
substantially increased rent and two vacant units. The 1992 and
1993 registration show a similar situation.
After careful consideration the Commissioner is of the opinion that
the petition should be granted and that the Rent Administrator's
order should be revoked as more fully set forth below.
The registration records are consistent with the owner's statements
that several of the single room facilities were, in fact, converted
to apartments with their own private bathroom facilities.
The record also shows that there was no service decrease with
regard to the hallway bathroom facilities. The service the owner
provided is here defined as the right to share bathroom facilities
with a limited number of tenants.
Sometime in 1989 six single-room tenants in the building were
provided access to two facilities on the fourth floor. The City
Housing Maintenance Code requires one water closet, washbasin and
bath or shower for every six persons on a floor. Commencing in
1991 there were only two single room tenants on the fourth floor
who used the facilities, and evidence that an individual in one of
the apartments with private facilities also made occasional use of
the hallway bathroom. Half the number of single-room tenants on
the fourth floor had vacated when the owner eliminated use of one
of the two fourth-floor facilities in 1991. The ratio of the
bathroom facilities to tenants using them is as favorable as
previously provided. Therefore, there has been no reduction in the
level of service the tenants are entitled to.
Accordingly, the Rent Administrator's order is revoked and the
proceedings are terminated.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted,
and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
revoked, in accordance with the above.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA