Follow Proper Procedures for "No-Access" Inspection
Be sure to follow the correct procedures to trigger a “no-access inspection.” By law, you're required to send two letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least eight days in advance of a proposed access date, before seeking a no-access inspection.
If a rent-regulated tenant has filed a reduced service complaint with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), you'll need access to the tenant's apartment to investigate the complaint and make any needed repairs. You'll also need access to make repairs if you're trying to get the rent restored after a rent cut order has been issued. If the tenant denies access in either of these situations, you must follow the DHCR's no-access policy set out in Rent Stabilization Code Section 2523.4[d] to schedule a no-access inspection where an inspector will be present, so that you can avoid a rent cut or get the rent restored.
In one recent case, after a tenant complained of a reduction in services based on various apartment conditions, the property manager and building super went to the tenant's apartment on five separate occasions, and the owner sent letters to the tenant by certified mail and hand-delivery five times during September 2010. The tenant never responded, and eventually the owner sent the tenant a notice to cure and later started an eviction proceeding against the tenant for failing to give access.
The owner's letters to the tenant were sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, but didn't propose access dates. Instead, the letters urged the tenant to contact the owner to set up appointments for repairs. As a result, a rent reduction was ordered [Violet Towers, Inc.: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. ZE410014RO (5/18/12)].