Intercom Not Working in Some Apartments
LVT Number: #24597
Tenants complained of a reduction in building-wide services. The DRA ruled for tenants in part and reduced the rents of 15 of the 46 tenants based on a defective bell/buzzer/intercom system. Landlord appealed, claiming that it didn't receive prior letter notice of tenants' complaint. It was sent instead to prior landlord, who sold the building shortly thereafter. And the letter sent to prior landlord was signed by only one tenant. Landlord also argued that tenants' claim that the intercom system "does not work" wasn't specific enough to determine the nature of the complaint. Landlord also claimed that the 13-month delay between when the complaint was filed and the DHCR inspection, followed by a nine-month delay until the DRA issued its order, resulted in an inaccurate report of the conditions. The DHCR ruled against landlord. The prior notice letter to landlord didn't require the signatures of all complaining tenants or a list of all tenants represented by the one who sent the letter. Forty-six tenants signed the actual complaint. Tenants' complaint claimed that the intercoms didn't work consistently and, in some apartments, didn't work at all. This gave landlord sufficient notice of the nature of the complaint. Admittedly, landlord didn't receive notice of tenants' complaint until seven months after it was filed. But there was no proof that landlord did any repair work within 45 days after receiving the DRA's notice. Proof of repair work on three intercom units, submitted for the first time with landlord's PAR, couldn't be considered.
Edgecombe 11-13 Associates LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. ZJ430004RO (12/14/12) [5-pg. doc.]