Loss of Backyard Access Not Minor Condition
LVT Number: #24652
Rent-stabilized tenants complained of a reduction in building-wide services after landlord fenced off and gated a portion of the rear backyard to which they previously had access. The DRA ruled for tenants and reduced their rents. Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord claimed that tenants still had access to a portion of the backyard and that any reduction in access was de minimis, or minor. But DHCR inspection showed that the entire yard was 140 feet by 16 feet, that the fenced off area was 89 feet by 10 feet, and that tenants were left with access to an area that was only 51 feet by 6 feet. This wasn't a minor reduction in services. Landlord had unilaterally altered access to a required service without DHCR permission.
42-15 81st Street: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. AM130021RO (1/23/13) [3-pg. doc.]