STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:              
                                                  (Refile of CE430112RT)
               BELLE FELDMAN,  President          
                                                  DOCKET NOS.:
                                                  BH430161B;  BH430162B;
                                                  BH430163B;  BH430164B;
                                   PETITIONER     BH430166B;  BH430167B


          On August 19, 1988, the above-named petitioner-tenants timely 
          refiled a petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order 
          issued on April 21, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the 
          housing accommodations known as London Terrace Apartments, wherein 
          the Administrator denied the tenants' complaint based on a finding 
          that the facts did not warrant the relief requested.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and 
          has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the 
          issues raised by the administrative appeal.

          The record reveals that in October 1987 numerous tenants residing 
          in the various buildings known as London Terrace filed complaints 
          alleging a decrease in building-wide services, in that the elevator 
          operators had been instructed not to accept packages, keys, etc.  
          The tenants asserted that this is a great inconvenience, especially 
          for tenants who work, and that if the elevator operators are no 
          longer going to provide this service, a secure package room should 
          be made available for storage of packages.

          In answer to the complaint, the owner, through counsel states that 
          there has been no reduction in services because the acceptance of 
          packages by elevator operators is not a required service but merely 
          a courtesy performed voluntarily.  The owner submitted a job 
          description for elevator operators which specifically prohibits the 
          acceptance of packages, deliveries, keys, etc.


          The Rent Administrator issued an order on April 21, 1988, denying 
          the tenants' applications based on a finding that the facts do not 
          warrant the relief requested.

          In the petition for administrative review, the president of the 
          tenants association asserts that the owner should be directed to 
          restore the service in question because a 1956 Court of Appeals 
          decision stated that the creation of a single package room for the 
          handling of deliveries to all 10 buildings "would substitute an 
          unwieldy and inconvenient method for the present simple delivery of 
          all packages directly to the tenant by the manual elevator".

          In an answer to the petition, the owner through counsel, asserts 
          that the Rent Administrator's orders should be upheld and reiter- 
          ates the arguments made in response to the complaint.

          After careful consideration of the evidence of record, the Commis- 
          sioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

          Section 2520.6(r) of the Rent Stabilization Code and Section 
          2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations authorize a rent 
          reduction based on a finding of failure to maintain required or 
          essential services.  Required and essential services are defined as 
          those services which the owner was maintaining or was required to 
          maintain on the base date and any additional services provided or 
          required to be provided thereafter by applicable law.  For rent 
          controlled tenants, the owner must continue to maintain those 
          services he furnished or was obliged to furnish on April 30, 1962 
          and which were included in the maximum rent on that date.  For rent 
          stabilized tenants, the base date for required building-wide 
          services for the subject building is May 31, 1968.

          The record in the instant case fails to support the tenants' 
          contention that the acceptance of mail and packages by elevator 
          personnel was anything more than a courtesy provided informally and 
          voluntarily.  As such, it is not a base date service included in 
          the rent and which the owner is required to maintain.

          The amenities sought by tenants to be provided as a building-wide 
          service are not only inconsistent with the proper performance of 
          the duties of building personnel, but are those personal services 
          which may be provided to individual tenants for a gratuity.

          The Court of Appeals opinion referred to by the tenants was not 
          submitted with the petition and cannot be located among reported 
          court decisions.  Moreover, the excerpt quoted in the petition does 


          not conclusively establish that acceptance of packages is a base 
          date service or effectively rebut the owner's statement, supported 
          by the job description for elevator operators, that such services 
          were courtesies voluntarily provided by the elevator operators but 
          not within the scope of their employment.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code 
          and the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and 
          the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby, is 


                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner          


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