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 #14 - 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
A tenant or group of tenants can file a 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.
The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) screens and dockets
complaints and sends the tenant(s) an acknowledgment with the docket number.
A copy of the tenant s (s ) complaint is sent to the owner with a notice to
answer the tenant s charges. 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.
The tenant has 20 days from receiving the owner s answer to respond to DHCR.
If the tenant claims that the owner s answer is not accurate, DHCR may order
an inspection. Often these questions of fact cannot be resolved without on-
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 DHCR issues an order
restoring the rent. In addition, in rent stabilized apartments, 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
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.
For more information or assistance, call the DHCR Rent InfoLine (718) 739-
6400, or visit your Borough Rent Office.
92-31 Union Hall Street
Jamaica, NY 11433
250 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
163 W. 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
North side of 110th St. and above
50 Clinton Street
Hempstead, NY 11550
55 Church Street
White Plains, NY 10601
156 William Street
New York, NY 10038
South side of 110th St. and below
1 Fordham Plaza
Bronx, NY 10458
60 Bay Street
Staten Island, NY 10301
94-96 North Main Street
Spring Valley, NY 10977