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.:
Lemle & Wolff, Inc.,
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On July 14, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a petition
for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on June 15,
1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 559 West 183rd Street, New York, N.Y.,
Apt.#8, 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 the subject apartment based upon a diminution of
On August 20, 1987, the tenant filed a complaint alleging that the
owner failed to maintain services in the subject apartment.
The owner filed an answer to the complaint on October 27, 1987,
alleging that all service items noted in the complaint have either
been corrected or attended to.
A DHCR inspection conducted on April 19, 1988, revealed that the
following services were not being maintained:
1. Left and right rear stove top burners do not light.
2. Freezer door missing.
3. Bathroom ceiling has peeling paint around light fixture.
4. Radiator drips underneath.
5. Rodent infestation.
6. Living room ceiling and walls are cracked and peeling
paint and plaster.
7. Bulged and cracked second bedroom wall.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner asserted, in pertinent part, that
the Rent Administrator failed to serve it with a notice of
inspection or of the results of inspection; thus depriving it of
the right to due process.
The petition was served on the tenant on September 10, 1988, and on
September 20, 1988, and September 20, 1988, the tenant filed an
answer to the petition stating that although the owner eventually
made repairs in the subject apartment, the work was of an inferior
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 reduction of the legal regulated rent to the level in
effect prior to the most recent guidelines 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.
Concerning the petitioner-owner's argument that the Administrator
failed to give it notice of the inspection or the results, the
Commissioner finds that due process does not require that the owner
be informed that inspections are to take place or that it be sent
copies of the reports with an opportunity to rectify the condition
or to respond. The owner had adequate notice from the tenants
complaint of conditions requiring its attention.
The Commissioner has also considered and rejects the petitioner's
claim on appeal that the required repair was made prior to the
issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
A copy of the tenant's complaint was mailed to the the owner on
October 23, 1987, and the Rent Administrator's order was issued on
June 15, 1988.
It is apparent that the owner had approximately eight (8) months to
attend to the complained-of conditions, but had failed to do so
prior to the issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
The inspector's report clearly showed that even if the owner
attempted to correct the conditions prior to the issuance of the
Rent Administrator's order, it had failed to do so in a workmanlike
Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the owner has offered
insufficient reason to disturb the Rent Administrator's
The Commissioner finds, that the Administrator properly based his
determination on the entire record, including the results of the
on-site physical inspection conducted on April 19, 1988, and that
pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, and Administrator was
mandated to reduce the rent upon determining that the owner had
failed to maintain services.
Upon a restoration of services the owner may separately apply for
a rent restoration.
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