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 96-1 (March 6, 1996)

Third Person Certification; Rebuttable Presumption In Processing of
Building-Wide Services-Based Rent Reduction and Restoration Proceedings,
and Major Capital Improvement Rent Increase Proceedings

I.  Building-Wide Services Reduction-Restoration Proceedings

Except as to complaints of inadequate heat and/or hot water or applications
relating to the restoration of such services, whenever a complaint of
building-wide reduction in services, or an owner's application relating to
the restoration of rents based upon the restoration of such services is filed,
the tenants or owner may submit with the complaint, answer or application,
the contemporaneous affidavit of an independent licensed architect or
engineer, substantiating the allegations of the complaint, answer or
application.

The affidavit shall state that the conditions that are the subject of the
complaint, answer or application were investigated by the person signing the
affidavit and shall state that the conditions exist (if the affidavit is offered
by the tenants) or do not exist (if the affidavit is offered by the owner).
The affidavit shall specify what conditions were investigated and what the
findings were with respect to each condition.  The affidavit shall state
when the investigation was conducted, and must be submitted within a
reasonable time after the completion of the investigation.

The affidavit, when served by DHCR on the opposing party, will raise a
rebuttable presumption that the conditions that are the subject of the
complaint, answer or application exist (if the affidavit is submitted
by the tenants), or do not exist (if the affidavit is submitted by the owner).
The presumption raised by the affidavit may be rebutted only on the basis
of "persuasuve evidence," e.g., a counter affidavit by an independent
licensed architect or engineer, or a report of a subsequent inspection
conducted, or a subsequent violation imposed, by a governmental agency,
or an affirmation signed by 51% of the complaining tenants.

Except for good cause shown, failure to rebut the presumption within
30 days will result in the issuance of an order without any further
physical inspection of the premises by DHCR.

II.  Major Capital Improvements

When during the processing of a Major Capital Improvement (MCI) rent increase
application, tenants interpose answers complaining of defective operation
of the MCI, such complaints may be resolved in the following manner:

a. Where municipal "sign-offs" (other than a building permit) are
   required for the approval of the MCI installation, and the
   tenants' complaints relate to the subject matter of the sign-off,
   the complaint may be resolved on the basis of the sign-off, and
   the tenant referred to the approving governmental agency for
   whatever action such agency may deem appropriate.

b. Where municipal sign-offs are not required, or where the
   alleged defective operation of the MCI does not relate to the
   subject matter of the sign-off, the complaint may be resolved by
   the affidavit of an independent licensed architect or engineer
   that the condition complained of was investigated and found not
   to have existed, or if found to have existed, was corrected.
   The affidavit served by DHCR on the tenants will raise a
   rebuttable presumption that the MCI is properly operative.
   Tenants can rebut the presumption only on the basis of
   "persuasive evidence," e.g, a counter affidavit by an independent
   licensed architect or engineer or an affirmation of 51% of the
   complaining tenants.

Except for good cause shown, failure to rebut the presumption within 30 days will result in the issuance of an order without any further physical inspection of the premises by DHCR. General Requirements The architect or engineer must be unrelated to the tenants or owner, there must be no common ownership, directly or indirectly, or other financial interest, between such architect or engineer and the owner or tenants, and the affidavit shall state that there is no such relationship or other financial interest. Also, the affidavit must contain a statement that the architect or engineer did not engage in the performance of any work, other than the investigation, relating to the conditions that are the subject of the affidavit. The affidavit submitted must contain the original signature and professional stamp of the architect or engineer, not a copy. DHCR will conduct follow-up inspections randomly to ensure that the affidavits accurately indicate the conditions of the premises. Any person or party who submits a false statement will be subject to all penalties provided by law. In addition, licensing authorities will also be notified of any impropriety by the licensee. Paul A. Roldan Deputy Commissioner for Rent Administration Issued 3/96 ------------------------------------------------------------ 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 remain intact as herein presented, including this and the top informational banner referencing TenantNet as the original provider. ------------------------------------------------------------ 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 (718) 739-6400 Bronx One Fordham Plaza Bronx, NY 10458 (718) 563-5678 Brooklyn 250 Schermerhorn St. 3rd Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 780-9246 Lower Manhattan 156 William Street 9th Floor NY, NY 10038 (212) 240-6011, 6012 South side of 110th St. and below Upper Manhattan 163 W. 125th St. 5th Floor NY, NY 10027 (212) 961-8930 North side of 110th St. and above Staten Island 350 St. Mark's Place Room 105 Staten island, NY 10301 (718) 816-0277 Nassau County District Rent Office 50 Clinton Street, 6th Floor Hempstead, NY 11550 (516) 481-9494 Westchester County District Rent Office 55 Church Street, 3rd Floor White Plains, NY 10601 (914) 948-4434 Rockland County District Rent Office 94-96 North Main St. Spring Valley, NY 10977 (914) 425-6575 Albany Regional Office 119 Washington Avenue Albany, NY 12210 (518) 432-0596 Buffalo Regional Office Ellicot Square Building 295 Main St., Room 438 Buffalo, NY 14203 (716) 856-1382 ------------------------------------------------------------

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