DHCR FACT SHEET #14
Division of Housing and Community Renewal
RENT REDUCTIONS DUE TO DECREASED SERVICES
Tenants in rent-regulated apartments can file individual and
building-wide complaints if the services provided are inadequate.
That action could result in a rent reduction.
A building-wide service complaint may relate to lack of elevator
service, unsanitary halls, poor security systems, etc. The
process of filing is as follows.
1. A tenant or group of tenants can file STATEMENT OF COMPLAINT
OF A DECREASE IN BUILDING-WIDE SERVICES, [DHCR form RA-84];
or a tenant can file an INDIVIDUAL TENANT STATEMENT OF
COMPLAINT (DHCR form RA-81) for decreased services in an
individual apartment. To obtain a rent reduction based on
service reduction, a rent stabilized tenant must specifically
request a rent reduction, or if party to a building-wide
complaint, must be individually listed as one of the
claimants requesting the rent reduction.
2. The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) screens
and dockets complaints and sends the tenant(s) an
acknowledgment with the docket number.
3. A copy of the tenant's complaint is sent to the owner with a
notice to answer the tenant's charges.
4. The owner can respond to the tenant's charges by making the
necessary repairs or providing the missing services or
stating why the alleged condition was not repaired or
remedied. DHCR will send the tenant a copy of the owner's
answer if it is relevant to the determination.
5. The tenant has 20 days from receiving the owner's answer to
respond to DHCR.
6. If the tenant claims that the owner's answer is not accurate,
the DHCR may order an inspection. Often these questions of
fact cannot be resolved without on-site evidence.
7. If the evidence indicates that the owner failed to maintain
required services, DHCR may issue a rent reduction or, if the
tenant fails to request a rent reduction, DHCR will direct
the owner to restore the services. A reduction in rent, if
ordered, will be in effect until the DHCR issues an order
restoring the rent. In addition, the order finding a
reduction in services may bar the owner from collecting any
further increases in rent until full services are restored.
Statewide, if a tenant lives in a rent stabilized apartment and
receives a rent reduction for an individual apartment or a
building-wide service decrease, the order becomes effective the
first day of the month following the date when the owner was
served with the tenant's complaint. The rent reduction consists
of a percentage equal to the guideline increase in effect when
the complaint was filed. If more than one tenant applied, the
rent reduction affects each tenant who signed the building-wide
service complaint application requesting the rent reduction.
If a tenant lives in a rent controlled apartment, the rent
reduction based on either an individual apartment or building-
wide service decrease becomes effective the first day of the
month following DHCR's issuance of the order.
In a building-wide complaint, all NYC rent controlled tenants
will receive the reduction whether or not they signed the
building-wide service complaint application.
The owner may be ordered to restore full services even though a
rent reduction has not been granted. An owner's failure to comply
with the DHCR order requiring restoration of services can result
in even greater penalties, such as fines.
To have the rent restored to its original amount, an owner must
file Owner's Application to Restore Rent and/or Collect Rent
Adjustment [DHCR form RTP- 19 ]. For rent stabilized apartments
outside of NYC, the owner must include a copy of a new
Certificate of Maintenance of Services with the application. An
order will be issued granting or denying the application.
DHCR Fact Sheets (series of thirty) are issued by the New York
State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) as plain-
english informational publications. For official agency
policies, see DHCR Policy Statements, Advisory Opinions and
Operational Bulletins. Also refer to the Rent Stabilization Code,
the Rent Stabilization Law and various Rent Control Statutes.
Electronic versions of these documents on TenantNet are for
informational purposes only and there is no guarantee they will
be accepted by any court (or even DHCR) as true copies of DHCR
policy. The reader may obtain true copies of these documents from
Every attempt has been made to conform to the original Fact
Sheets as issued by DHCR; TenantNet makes no
representation the enclosed material is current or will be
applied as written. The reader is advised that DHCR often fails
to properly apply, interpret or enforce housing laws. Since
housing laws are complex and often contradictory, it is
recommended the reader obtain competent legal advice from a
tenant attorney or counseling from a tenant association or
community group. (rev. 3/13/96) DHCR documents
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For more information or assistance, call the DHCR Rent Infoline
at (718) 739-6400, or visit your Borough Rent Office.
Queens Central Office
92-31 Union Hall St. 4th Fl.
Jamaica, NY 11433
One Fordham Plaza
Bronx, NY 10458
250 Schermerhorn St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
156 William Street
NY, NY 10038
(212) 240-6011, 6012
South side of 110th St. and below
163 W. 125th St.
NY, NY 10027
North side of 110th St. and above
350 St. Mark's Place
Staten island, NY 10301
Nassau County District Rent Office
50 Clinton Street, 6th Floor
Hempstead, NY 11550
Westchester County District Rent Office
55 Church Street, 3rd Floor
White Plains, NY 10601
Rockland County District Rent Office
94-96 North Main St.
Spring Valley, NY 10977
Albany Regional Office
119 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210
Buffalo Regional Office
Ellicot Square Building
295 Main St., Room 438
Buffalo, NY 14203