Landlord Improperly Discontinued Roof Access to Building Tenants
LVT Number: #32324
Rent-controlled tenant complained to the DHCR of a reduction in building-wide services based on landlord's denial of roof access. The DRA ruled for tenant and reduced her rent. Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord argued that there was no proof that roof access was an essential service under rent control, aside from tenant's self-serving statement. Tenant claimed that until September 2021, all building tenants had roof access. Tenant said she had used the roof for over 50 years and kept deck chairs up there. In September 2021, landlord notified tenants via text message that roof access would be provided exclusively to a new, deregulated tenant. Tenants would have only emergency access to the roof. Landlord also didn't answer notice of tenant's complaint but only advised the DRA that it had retained legal counsel. Landlord didn't respond to the DRA's requests for additional information. In any event, despite landlord's claim, the roof access wasn't a de minimis condition. The DRA properly reduced tenant's rent and ordered restoration of services.
Cadenhead: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. KS420024RO (10/28/22)[6-pg. document]