Landlord Didn't Prove Lack of Access
LVT Number: 8347
Facts: Tenant complained of a reduction in services based on a number of conditions in her apartment. An inspection confirmed that repairs were needed. The DRA ruled for tenant and reduced her rent, based on findings of peeling paint and plaster in the bathroom, defective windows, a missing kitchen light fixture, kitchen cabinet doors that didn't stay closed, and an inoperative bathroom sink drain. Landlord appealed, claiming that tenant didn't give access for repairs. The DHCR ruled against landlord and dismissed his PAR. Landlord appealed, claiming the DHCR's decision was arbitrary and unreasonable. Court: Landlord loses. Landlord offered no proof that tenant had refused access. Landlord neither requested access nor scheduled repairs before the DRA issued its rent reduction order. The DHCR wasn't required to provide a ``no-access'' inspection because landlord didn't request one. Just because tenant didn't give landlord access in the case of prior service complaints, landlord couldn't assume that tenant would give no access in response to her current complaint.
Copenhagen Leasing Co. v. Jones: NYLJ, p. 25, col. 4 (11/10/93) (Sup. Ct. Queens; Lonschein, J)