Garage Ceiling Leaked
LVT Number: #24603
Tenants complained of a reduction in building-wide services. The DRA ruled for tenants and reduced their rents. Inspection showed that the first-floor garage ceiling above one parking space was leak-damaged and that another parking space surface was slightly pitted but not hazardous. Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord pointed out that 11 of the 38 apartments listed in the DRA's order were deregulated and shouldn't have been included in the rent reduction order. Landlord also claimed that a slightly pitted surface at one parking space and the leak-damaged ceiling above another parking space were minor conditions that didn't warrant a rent reduction. Landlord argued that the land adjoining the garage wall was a public park owned by the City of White Plains, that the building was below the adjoining park land and that rainwater flowed toward it, and that a series of "weep" openings and shunts were properly used to relieve water pressure around the retaining walls. Landlord also claimed that there was no active leak at the time of the DHCR inspection. But the inspector's photographs showed that there was major ceiling damage. This wasn't a minor condition. Prior DHCR decisions also showed that the problem with water leaks in the garage was long-standing. So the DRA properly applied the rent reduction to all rent-stabilized tenants. The DHCR didn't need to change the order to omit unregulated tenants since they weren't covered as a matter of law.
White Plains Company LLC: DCHR Adm. Rev. Docket No. AP910024RO (12/21/12) [3-pg. doc.]