George E. Pataki, Governor         Joseph H. Holland, Commissioner

                   A publication of New York State
               Division of Housing and Community Renewal
                      Office of Rent Administration

             Fact Sheet #3 - Required and Essential Services
                             [Revised 2/96]

    Under rent stabilization, an owner must maintain all services required by
the Rent Stabilization Law on rent stabilization's base dates of May 31, 1968
and/or May 29, 1974. The base date for apartments under  the Emergency Tenant
Protection Act (ETPA) outside of NYC is May 29, 1974, or the day immediately
prior to the local effective date, whichever is later. These services are
called required services and include, but are not limited to: repairs,
maintenance, the furnishing of light, heat, hot and cold water, elevator
services, janitorial services, the removal of refuse, and ancillary services
such as garage and recreational facilities.

    Under rent control, the owner must provide and maintain all services
furnished or required to be furnished on the base date of May 1, 1950 for rent
controlled apartments outside of NYC, and March 1, 1943 for those within NYC.
Modification to required services may have been ordered thereafter, with an
appropriate adjustment in rent.  These services are called essential services
and may include, but are not limited to: repairs, maintenance, the furnishing
of light, heat, hot and cold water, elevator service, kitchen, bath and
laundry facilities and privileges, janitor service, and removal of refuse.

    Required services or essential services for apartments may be building-
wide, such as heat, hot water, elevator service, and maintenance of public
areas of the building. The service may also be something furnished within an
individual apartment, such as a refrigerator, stove, air conditioning
equipment, or painting.

    When an owner provides equipment or services, such as a refrigerator or an
air conditioner, the owner must maintain it in good working order. Defective
equipment must be repaired or replaced. The owner does not have to replace
defective equipment with brand new equipment. The defective equipment may be
replaced with reconditioned or used equipment, provided it is in good working
order. The owner is not entitled to any increase in rent based on the cost of
reconditioned or used equipment.

    For example, if the apartment includes one or more air conditioners, the
owner is required to see that they are in good working order.  If the owner
does not repair or replace a broken air conditioner, the tenant may request
a rent reduction from DHCR, which is empowered to reduce rents when a service
complaint is valid.  Furthermore, unless the owner did not consent to the
installation of an air conditioner, the owner must, at his or her own expense,
remove and reinstall the air conditioner when any exterior work requires such
removal and reinstallation.

    If an appliance or equipment is replaced with a new one, the owner may be
entitled to a rent increase equal to 1/40th of the cost of the new equipment,
including installation costs, but not including finance charges.   For
occupied apartments, however, the tenant's written consent is required before
the owner may collect the increase.  See Fact Sheet # 12, Rent Increases for
New Services, New Equipment, or Improvements to an Apartment."  For stabilized
apartments, the tenant's written consent should be retained by the owner but
need not be filed by the owner with DHCR.  For all apartments subject to rent
control, the owner must file a notice (DHCR Form RN-79b) with DHCR to obtain
a rent increase for new equipment.  The tenant's consent is a part of that
form and the rental increase is effective on the first rent payment date
following the filing of the form.

    If an installation of new equipment is done while the apartment is
vacant, the new tenant's consent is not required for the owner to collect a
1/40th increase.

    A tenant who experiences a decreased service in an individual apartment
should first contact the owner. If that does not resolve the problem, the
tenant may file an "Individual Tenant Statement of Complaint of Decrease in
Services" (DHCR Form RA-81).  For complaints involving a decrease in building-
wide services, still uncorrected after a tenant contacted the owner, a tenant
or tenant representative may file a "Statement of Complaint of a Decrease in
Building-Wide Services" (DHCR Form RA-84).  For additional information, see
Fact Sheet #14, "Complaints of Decreased Services."

    For more information or assistance, call the DHCR Rent InfoLine (718) 739-
6400 or visit your Borough or County Rent Office.

92-31 Union Hall Street
4th Floor
Jamaica, NY 11433
(718) 739-6400

250 Schermerhorn Street
3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Upper Manhattan
163 W. 125th Street
5th Floor
New York, NY 10027
North side of 110th St. and above

Nassau County
50 Clinton Street
6th Floor
Hempstead, NY 11550

Westchester County
55 Church Street
White Plains, NY 10601

Lower Manhattan
156 William Street
9th Floor
New York, NY 10038
South side of 110th St. and below

1 Fordham Plaza
2nd Floor
Bronx, NY 10458

Staten Island
60 Bay Street
7th Floor
Staten Island, NY 10301

Rockland County
94-96 North Main Street
Spring Valley, NY 10977

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