DOCKET NUMBER: AL 410766-RO
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                     DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

     ------------------------------------X 
     IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: AL 410766-RO
                                         :  
                                            DRO DOCKET NO.: L 3114277-RT
       PARK TOWERS SOUTH                                    CDR 27,208
       COMPANY,            PETITIONER    : 
     ------------------------------------X                             

           ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

     On December 24, 1986 the above named petitioner owner filed a Petition for 
     Administrative Review against  an  order  of  the  Rent  Administrator  10
     Columbus Circle, New York, New York issued November 25, 1986.   The  order
     concerned housing accommodations known as Apartment  12F  located  at  315
     West 57th Street New York, New  York.   The  Administrator  dismissed  the
     tenants Fair Market Rent Appeal but found that an overcharge existed.

     The tenant began this case on March 30, 1984 by filing both a Fair  Market
     Rent Adjustment application and an overcharge complaint.   The  petitioner
     answered and supplied the proper rental history  and  documentation.   The
     Administrator first determined the Fair  Market  Rent  Appeal  issue.   He
     ruled that the subject premises had been  subject  to  Rent  Stabilization
     since that law went into effect.  Since rent control  never  applied,  the
     appeal was dismissed.  The tenant filed  no  petition  for  Administrative
     Review.

     As regards the overcharge complaint,  the  Administrator  established  the
     base rent at $360.00 for the lease term beginning May 1,  1977.   A  total
     overcharge of $3535.70 including interest was calculated.  The  petitioner
     urges reversal on three grounds.  First, they note that the  tenant  wrote
     a letter to the Administrator  prior  to  this  decision,  requesting  her
     complaint be  withdrawn  with  prejudice.   The  Administrator  apparently
     decided the case regardless of this letter.  Second, the owner claims that 
     the Administrator violated Section  307(2)  of  the  State  Administrative
     Procedure Act.  Since the tenant had communicated her desire  to  withdraw
     the case and the Administrator decided it anyway, reasons the owner,  then
     further communication between the tenant and DHCR must have occurred  that
     they  were  not  informed  of.   Finally,  petitioner  claims   that   the
     Administrator neglected the calculate electrical inclusion  allowances  in
     determining the overcharge.  After a careful review of the evidence in the 
     record, the Commissioner grants the petition.

     The tenant in this proceeding communicated twice that she wished this case 
     closed.  The first time  was  before  the  Administrators  decision.   Her
     second request came in her answer to the  petition  herein.   Normally,  a
     tenants rights and benefits under the Rent Stabilization Law and Code  are
     not waivable (See 9 NYCRR 2520.13).  The exceptions  to  this  rule  occur
     when a settlement has been negotiated that was either a product of DHCR 


     participation or "so ordered" by a court of competent jurisdiction.   This
     does not seem to have occurred here.  The Commissioner may, however, look, 






          DOCKET NUMBER: AL 410766-RO
     look at the settlement  to  see  the  circumstances  under  which  it  was
     negotiated and its fairness.  The petitioner recalculated the tenants rent 
     and  found  a  $454.20  overcharge.   They  also  reduced  the  rent.   In
     consideration of these acts, the tenant seems to have been willing to drop 
     her complaint.   She  expressed  the  desire  to  do  so  even  after  the
     Administrator awarded her $3535.70 in rental overcharges.  It would appear 
     that the tenant, who  is  the  current  occupant  of  the  apartment,  has
     intelligently  and  without  duress  agreed  to  settle  her  case.    The
     Commissioner will, accordingly, abide by her wishes given the totality  of
     the circumstances of the case.

     The Commissioner rejects the second argument made by petitioner.  No other 
     communication was made by the tenant to DHCR thus no violation of  Section
     307(2) took place.  Finally, the Commissioner notes that the owner appears 
     to be correct in the assertion  that  electrical  allowance  charges  were
     excluded.  Because of the decision herein, however, it is not necessary to 
     recalculate the rent to take the extra amount into consideration.

     If the current owner has already complied with the  Administrator's  order
     and arrears are due and owing as a result of  the  present  determination,
     the tenant may pay off said arrears in twenty four  monthly  installments.
     Should the tenant  vacate  after  the  issuance  of  this  order  or  have
     previously vacated, said arrears are payable immediately.

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it is

     ORDERED, that this petition be, and hereby is, granted and that the  order
     of the District Rent Administrator be, and hereby is, revoked.

     ISSUED:








                                                                   
                                     ELLIOT SANDER
                                     Deputy Commissioner




                                                   
    

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