New York State
Division of Housing and Community Renewal
Office of Rent Administration
Gertz Plaza, 92-31 Union Hall St.
Jamaica, New York 11433
Public Information: (718)739-6400
POLICY STATEMENT (90-2)
FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SERVICES
This policy statement is being issued to clarify DHCR's policies
with respect to maintenance of services, for rent stabilized
buildings or accommodations in New-York City.
Section 26-514 of the Rent stabilization Law, as amended by
Chapter 403, Laws of 1983 (Omnibus Housing Act) provides in
pertinent part, as follows:
In addition to any other remedy afforded by law, any tenant may
apply to the state division of housing and community renewal for
a reduction in the rent to the level in effect prior to its most
recent adjustment and for an order requiring services to be
maintained as provided in this section, and the Commissioner
shall so reduce the rent if it is found that the owner has failed
to maintain such services...
A substantially similar provision is contained in Section 2523.4
of the Rent Stabilization Code and it applies to all rent
stabilized units including stabilized hotels.
A "required service" is one that was furnished on the base date
or subsequently, or one required to be furnished by any state law
or local law, ordinance or regulation applicable to the premises.
These required services may include but are not limited to,
repairs, decorating and maintenance, the furnishing of light, and
the removal of refuse. In addition to these required services,
hotel stabilized tenants are entitled to receive maid service,
linen service, furniture and furnishings, and staffed lobby, as
part of their required services.
Where a tenant files a complaint alleging the owner's failure to
maintain services and where the owner disputes the allegation, an
inspection of the premises is conducted to determine whether the
owner has failed to maintain services. If, after an inspection,
DHCR finds that required services have not been maintained or are
absent, the administrator will issue an order listing the
specific services the owner failed to maintain, reducing the rent
and directing the owner to restore the services. The rent will
be reduced retroactive to the first of the month following the
date of service on the owner of the tenant's complaint. In
addition, the owner will be ineligible to apply to DHCR for any
rent increases or to collect subsequent guideline increases for
the affected unit or units until the date specified in a rent
restoration order. The order will also include those items
listed in the original complaint which were not found to be a
failure to maintain services.
However, if prior to an inspection the owner has restored the
services referred to in the tenant's complaint, there is
generally no rent reduction ordered. Additionally, the rent will
not be reduced upon a tenant complaint, or should be restored
upon an owner s application, where there is a finding that a
tenant failed to provided reasonable access and such access was
necessary to make the repair.
A rent reduction will not be ordered where there is no finding of
a failure to maintain services.
Sections 2523.3 & 4 of the Rent Stabilization Code essentially
provide that where DHCR determines that an owner has failed to
maintain services, such owner shall not be entitled to a rent
restoration until he or she has made an application and DHCR
issues an order restoring the rent.
As rents are reduced when there is a failure to maintain required
services, likewise, DHCR will issue orders to restore those rents
after required services as specified in the rent reduction order
have been restored. The rent restoration proceeding is initiated
when an owner files an application affirming that the required
services have been restored. If the tenant confirms the owner's
statement, then the rent is restored. Otherwise, an inspection
is made to determine if the required services have been restored.
If the tenant denies access for the DHCR inspection, then the
rent will be restored.
If the order enumerated a- number of conditions that required
correction, such as faulty wiring, a leak, plaster and paint, all
enumerated conditions must be corrected before the rent is
restored. When the condition has not been corrected in a
workmanlike manner, such as breaking a wall to repair a pipe
without fully restoring the wall, including plastering and
painting, the rent shall not be restored until all such work has
been completed. Where DHCR issues an order restoring rent, the
retroactive date will be the first of the month following the
date of service on the tenant of the owner's application to
February 21, 1990
Elliot G. Sander
DHCR Policy Statements are **promulgated** (i.e., officially
issued) by the New York State Division of Housing and Community
Renewal (DHCR) and represent **official** policy of the agency.
The agency is generally obligated to follow the policy contained
in these and other documents or provide a rational for deviation;
failure to follow the law, policy or practice may form the basis
for an appeal. Electronic versions of the 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 is advised to obtain true copies of
these documents from DHCR. Also see DHCR Advisory Opinions,
DHCR Operational Bulletins, the Rent Stabilization Code, the Rent
Stabilization Law and various Rent Control Statutes.
Every attempt has been made to conform to the original Policy
Statements 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
are public documents; the electronic version of such documents
have been developed by TenantNet and any added value, enhancements
and/or proprietary features are copyright 1994, 1995 and 1996 by
TenantNet. These documents may be freely distributed provided they
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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