Landlord Removed Fence
LVT Number: 16632
Tenant complained of a reduction in services based on landlord's removal of a fence adjacent to tenant's terrace. Landlord claimed that it couldn't be reinstalled. The DRA ruled for tenant and permanently reduced tenant's rent by $8.00 per month, effective two years prior to the date of tenant's complaint. Landlord appealed, claiming that the rent reduction shouldn't be retroactive to before tenant's complaint was filed. Landlord also argued that the missing fence was a minor condition and not grounds for a rent reduction. The DHCR ruled for landlord in part. State rent control regulations bar any rent reduction prior to the date on which an order is issued. So the retroactive portion of tenant's rent reduction was revoked. However, the condition wasn't minor. Landlord's removal of the fence effectively changed tenant's semiprivate space into a common area. This was a reduction in services.
30 Eastchester LLC/de Tagyos: DHCR Adm. Rev. Dckt. Nos. PI910031RO & PJ910013RT (4/1/03) [3-pg. doc.]