Doc. #CH130084RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK  11433

          APPEAL OF                                 DOCKET NO.: CH130084RO
                Lefferts Grove Company,       :     RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                    DOCKET NO.: CA130100B

                              PETITIONER      :     


          The above-named petitioner-owner filed a timely petition for 
          administrative review of an order issued concerning the housing 
          accommodations known as 41-29 46 Street, Various Apartments, 
          Sunnyside, New York.

          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 petition.

          Various tenants commenced the proceeding below by filing a 
          complaint on January 22, 1988, asserting that the owner had failed 
          to maintain certain services in the subject building.

          In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in the 
          complaint or otherwise asserted that the heat and hot water is 
          regulated  by the boiler according to New York City standards and 
          temperatures, that the halls, stairways and elevator cabs are swept 
          daily and mopped, that they never received any complaints regarding 
          improperly working intercoms, and that the only doors that are 
          unlocked are the emergency fire doors which allow access to the 
          roof as required by law.

          Thereafter an inspection of the subject building was conducted by 
          a D.H.C.R. inspector on April 26, 1988, who confirmed the existence 
          of the following defective conditions:

                    The south basement door lock is inoperative; 
                    door requires refitting.

          The Rent Administrator directed restoration of these services and 
          further ordered a reduction of the maximum rent of $3.00 per month 
          for Rent Controlled Apartments but for Rent Stabilized Apartments, 
          it was determined that a rent reduction was not warranted.

          In its petition for administrative review, the owner states, in 
          substance, that the lock in the basement side door was replaced 

          Doc. #CH130084RO

          while the DHCR inspector was on the premises and thus the rent- 
          controlled tenants' rents should not have been reduced by $3.00 per 
          month; that the refitting of the door was outside the ambit of the 
          original complaint, however, the owner found no defect in the "fit" 
          of the door; the condition found does not constitute "substantial 
          deterioration"; that the failure to conduct a hearing to allow the 
          owner an opportunity to present his evidence and cross-examine the 
          inspector as to his findings constitutes a denial of due process; 
          and that the original complaint was signed by only seven rent- 
          controlled tenants but the order granted a rent reduction to all 
          thirty-two rent-controlled tenants.

          The DHCR served a copy of the petition on the tenants on October 3, 
          1988.  The tenants' answer asserts that the defects have not been 

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the petition should be denied.

          On April 26, 1988, an inspection was conducted of the subject 
          premises.  The inspection report confirmed the existence of a 
          service deficiency noted in the tenants' complaint.
          The Commissioner has considered the owner's claim that the Rent 
          Administrator erred by reducing the rents of the rent-controlled 
          tenants and rejects this argument.

          Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulation, a 
          rent reduction is authorized where there has been a decrease in 
          essential services which are defined in  Section 2200.3 to include 
          repairs, maintenance, janitorial services, and removal of refuse.  
          The owner's petition does not establish any basis for modifying or 
          revoking the Administrator's order which determined that the owner 
          was not maintaining essential services based on the physical 
          inspection confirming the existence of defective conditions in the 
          subject building for which a rent reduction is warranted.  If there 
          is a finding of decrease of a building-wide service, the rental 
          value of all controlled apartments in the building is affected.

          Despite the fact that all rent-controlled tenants' names were not 
          on the complaint form, all rent-controlled tenants are entitled to 
          a rent reduction where building-wide service deficiencies are shown 
          as long as at least one rent-controlled tenant has signed the 

          The Commissioner has also considered the owner's contention on 
          appeal that a rent reduction is not warrant because the lock on the 
          basement door was replaced while the DHCR inspector was on the 
          premises and finds it to be without basis.  The tenants' complaint 
          stated "unlocked doors, basement door unsecured."  The defective 
          condition reported by the inspector was an inoperative basement 
          door that needs refitting.  The condition reported by the 
          inspection is sufficiently related to the condition complained of 
          and would not have been corrected by replacing the lock.   

          The owner states that he was denied due process in that he was not 
          granted a hearing with  an opportunity to cross-examine the 
          inspector.  The Commissioner is of the opinion, that this also is 
          without basis.  The holding of a hearing is not required by law but 

          Doc. #CH130084RO

          may be scheduled at the discretion of the Administrator in order to 
          resolve a factual dispute.  It was not an abuse of discretion to 
          decline to schedule a hearing in the instant case where the 
          tenants' complaint was mailed to the owner on February 23, 1988, 
          the owner had two months to make the necessary repair work before 
          the inspection took place, and the inspection confirmed that not 
          all repairs had been completed.

          Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is 
          required to order a rent reduction, upon application by the tenant, 
          where it is found that the owner has failed to maintain required 
          services.  The owner was directed to restore services, however, no 
          rent reduction was ordered for Rent Stabilized tenants, but no 
          tenants appealed this determination.

          The owner may file a rent restoration application for the Rent 
          Controlled apartments if the facts so warrant.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
          the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City, and the 
          Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, it is 

          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
                                                 Deputy Commissioner


TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name