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
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
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.
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
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
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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