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                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                            DOCKET NO.: BB 410110 RO

               Interiors by B & H, Inc.,       DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR
                                               DOCKET NO.: 16932


          On February 2, 1987,  the  above  named  petition-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          January 9, 1987, by the District Rent Administrator, 10  Columbus
          Circle, New York, New  York,  concerning  housing  accommodations
          known as Apartment 4RN, 1808 Second Avenue, New York, New York.

          The  issue  in  this  appeal  is  whether   the   District   Rent
          Administrator's order was warranted.

          The  applicable  sections  of  the  law  are  sections  2528.4  &
          2520.6(r) of the Rent Stabilization Code.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in  the  record
          and has carefully considered that portion of the record  relevant
          to the issue raised by the administrative appeal.

          This proceeding was commenced on August 4, 1984 by  the  tenant's
          filing of an objection to the rent/services registration  wherein
          the tenant contended that she  had  not  received  the  apartment
          registration and that no registration form  been  posted  in  the
          building.  The tenant listed her mailing address as: P.O. Box 82, 
          Gracie Station, New York, New York 10028.

          On December 14, 1984,  the  Division  of  Housing  and  Community
          Renewal (DHCR) notified the owner that the tenant  had  filed  an
          objection to the registration.

          On March 18, 1985, the tenant filed an amended objection  to  the
          rent/services registration and contended in  substance  that  the
          owner still had  failed  to  provide  her  with  a  copy  of  the
          apartment registration, and that the owner had posted an  undated
          white DHCR copy of a building registration form.

          On June 26, 1985, the owner was served with a Notice to Owner  of
          Failure to Register  Apartments/Building,  and  was  directed  to
          register all regulated apartments of the building within  fifteen

          On June 28, 1985, the owner informed DHCR that the apartment  had
          been registered, and submitted copies of the following documents: 
               1) a letter from the Rent Stabilization Association  of  New
               York    City, Inc. (RSA) to the owner dated  June  18,  1984

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               stating that  the  rent  registration  worksheets  had  been
               received and would be completed as soon as possible; 
               2) the 1984 Apartment Registration;
               3) a certificate of mailing dated September 24, 1984 by  the
               RSA of the rent  registrations  to  each  apartment  of  the
               subject building;
               4) a certified mail receipt to DHCR dated December 20, 1984; 
               5) a copy of the envelope containing the RR-1 Form  for  the
               subject apartment  bearing  a  post  office  stamp  "Refused
               September 18, 1984."

          On July 17, 1985, the  tenant  filed  another  objection  to  the
          rent/services registration and contended in  substance  that  she
          finally received the 1984 apartment registration from  the  owner
          on July 15, 1985, that she was being overcharged and was making a 
          fair market rent appeal, and that the owner had omitted from  the
          building services registration the removal of garbage left on the 
          first floor, an intercom system, and maintenance.

          On November 1, 1985, the owner mistakenly refiled a petition  for
          administrative review against the DHCR notice to the owner of its 
          failure  to  register  dated  June  26,  1985  and  contended  in
          substance that it never received from DHCR a copy of the tenant's 
          objection and that the tenant refused to accept the RR-1 when  it
          arrived in  the  mail.   Note:  This  petition  was  subsequently
          withdrawn by the owner (ARL 5763-L issued April 10, 1987).

          In response, the tenant contended in substance that she requested 
          the apartment registration from the owner on July 17,  1984,  but
          was ignored by the owner; she did not refuse  any  letters  which
          were mailed to her at her residence; the envelope containing  the
          RR-1 Form which was allegedly mailed to the tenant had  no  route
          carrier number or initials written on it; the owner knew on April 
          12, 1984 that she had asked the post office to forward  her  mail
          from 1808 Second Avenue to 50  Lafayette  Street  and  that  from
          March to October of 1984 her mail was routinely forwarded  to  50
          Lafayette Street; she was at work all day on September 17 and  18
          of 1984 and would not  have  been  able  to  encounter  the  mail
          carrier; the copy of the envelope submitted by the owner  clearly
          indicated "address correction requested," but  bears  no  address
          correction label; and the owner's petition is improper because no 
          order had been issued by DHCR.  In support of these  contentions,
          the tenant submitted copies of a certified letter from the tenant 
          to the owner dated July 17, 1984 requesting  both  the  apartment
          and building registrations and listing  her  mailing  address  as
          P.O. Box 82,  Gracie  Station,  New  York,  New  York  10028;  an
          envelope addressed from the owner to the tenant  at  1808  Second
          Avenue, Apartment 4RN, New York, New York 10128 with  a  notation
          "Do not forward, address  correction  requested"  and  bearing  a
          yellow sticker affixed by the  post  office  stating  "Return  to
          sender, Torney Margaret June, 50 Lafayette Street, New York, 
          New York 10013, return to sender, $.25 due"; and  a  letter  from
          the tenant to the owner dated May 18, 1984  reminding  the  owner
          that she had provided the owner in August of 1982 with her Gracie 
          Station Post Office Box mailing address and that it was still her 
          mailing address.

          On February 24, 1986, the District Rent Administrator  issued  an

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          order finding that  the  owner  had  failed  to  respond  to  the
          tenant's objection and that any rent increase  collected  by  the
          owner from April 1, 1984 to the date on which the tenant received 
          a copy of the registration must be refunded to the tenant.

          On October 6, 1986, the District Rent Administrator reopened  the
          proceeding for further processing based on an irregularity  in  a
          vital  matter.   The  Administrator  stated  that  the   tenant's
          overcharge claim and fair market rent challenge were addressed in 
          an order (TA-10284) issued  August  14,  1986  wherein  the  fair
          market rent appeal was dismissed and it was found that  all  rent
          increases  had  been  within  the  permissible  guidelines.   The
          Administrator  further  stated  that  there  were  two  remaining
          unresolved  issues:  whether  the  services  of  trash   removal,
          maintenance and an intercom  were  improperly  omitted  from  the
          registration; and whether the tenant first received her  copy  of
          the 1984 apartment registration on July 17, 1985.

          On October 15, 1986, the tenant informed DHCR  that  in  July  of
          1982 she obtained a post office box at Gracie Square  Station  to
          which she requested the Post Office to forward all her mail;  the
          owner  was  notified  of  this  change  of  mailing  address  but
          continued to address her mail to the subject  apartment  address;
          her forwarding address expired in March  of  1984  and  the  Post
          Office would no longer forward her mail to the post  office  box;
          she retained her post office box and filed a new forwarding order 
          requesting that all her mail  be  forwarded  from  her  residence
          address to her office address at 50 Lafayette Street, 3 Floor  E,
          New York, New York 10013; the owner knew of  her  new  forwarding
          address as  of  April  1984;  in  September  of  1984  the  owner
          complained of the tenant's use  of  her  office  address  as  her
          mailing address so on October 3, 1984 the  tenant  cancelled  her
          office mailing address while still retaining her  Gracie  Station
          post office box.  In support of  these  contentions,  the  tenant
          submitted copies of three envelopes postmarked in  1984  sent  by
          the owner to the tenant at her residence address  with  the  post
          office forwarding address  labels  listing  the  tenant's  office
          address.  This response of the tenant was received by  the  DHCR,
          but unfortunately was never delivered to  or  considered  by  the

          On October 23, 1986, the owner made the  following  arguments  to
          DHCR: the 1984 registration was mailed by the  RSA  on  September
          14, 1984; the registration letter was "returned to sender" on the 
          ground that it was refused by the addressee; the tenant  may  not
          allow her  apparent  refusal  to  accept  mail  to  work  to  the
          prejudice of the owner; the July 17, 1985 mailing of  a  copy  of
          the registration was made as a courtesy  to  the  tenant  on  the
          advice of a DHCR employee; the owner does not provide the service 
          of trash removal; instead a facility exists outside the  building
          for the tenants to  deposit  their  trash;  a  superintendent  is
          located in the building and provides services as needed;  and  an
          intercom was installed in the  building  in  1983.   Again,  this
          owner response was received by DHCR, but was never  delivered  to
          or considered by the Administrator.

          On January 9, 1987, the District  Rent  Administrator  determined
          that neither the owner nor the tenant had submitted a response to 
          the notice of reopening, and based upon the  owner's  failure  to

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          refute the tenant's claims found that the owner did  provide  the
          services of trash removal and an intercom,  that  the  owner  was
          always obligated to maintain  building  services,  and  that  the
          tenant received a copy of the 1984 registration on July 17, 1985. 
          The Administrator  advised  the  owner  that  any  rent  increase
          collected between April  1,  1984  and  July  17,  1985  must  be
          refunded to the tenant.

          In this petition,  the  owner  contends  in  substance  that  the
          District Rent Administrator's order is incorrect  and  should  be
          reversed because the owner did in fact submit an  answer  in  the
          reopened proceeding via certified mail return receipt; its answer 
          fully proved that the  owner  had  timely  served  the  apartment
          registration on the tenant in a manner  prescribed  by  law;  the
          registration was returned to the owner on the ground that it  was
          refused by the tenant; and a second copy of the registration  was
          mailed to the tenant sometime later as a courtesy upon the advice 
          of DHCR.

          In response, the tenant contends in substance  that  the  owner's
          petition should be  denied  because  the  owner  did  not  timely
          register the apartment and  never  intended  for  the  tenant  to
          receive a copy of the registration form; the tenant never refused 
          any mail addressed to her at the building address; a letter  sent
          with a certificate of mailing does not  allow  for  a  notice  to
          claim or for a  refusal  to  accept,  rather  such  mail  is  put
          directly into the addressee's mailbox;  the  owner  already  knew
          that the residential address was not being used by the tenant for 
          receiving mail and that she had placed a  forwarding  order  with
          the post office; the owner had requested  from  the  tenant  this
          forwarding address before the purported September  1984  mailing;
          and  the  RR-1  envelope  was  prestamped   "Address   Correction
          Requested" which indicates that the owner knew that the  envelope
          would not be forwarded on to the tenant at her  mailing  address,
          but would be returned, instead, to the owner.   The  tenant  also
          demands that the owner immediately  refund  the  amount  of  rent
          illegally collected between April 1, 1984 and July 17, 1985.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be

          Firstly, the Commissioner finds that both the  owner  and  tenant
          submitted responses in the  reopened  proceeding,  and  that  the
          Administrator erred in basing his decision on the owner's alleged 
          failure to refute the tenant's claims.

          With regard to the owner's contention  that  it  had  timely  and
          properly served the tenant with the 1984 apartment  registration,
          the Commissioner notes that on the date (September 14, 1984)  the
          1984 apartment registration was mailed by the RSA to  the  tenant
          the owner was aware that the tenant did not receive her  mail  at
          the subject apartment address, but rather that  the  post  office
          was forwarding her mail to her office address; the 1984 apartment 
          registration was mailed to the tenant at  the  subject  apartment
          address; the envelope which contained the 1984  registration  was
          prestamped "address correction requested"  and  would  cause  the
          envelope to be returned to the owner with the tenant's forwarding 
          address; and the  envelope  was  returned  to  the  owner  marked
          "refused September 18, 1984",  but  with  no  address  correction

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          label and with no carrier initials or  number  on  the  envelope.
          Based on these facts, the Commissioner finds by  a  preponderance
          of the evidence that the owner did not timely or  properly  serve
          the 1984 apartment registration upon the tenant  until  July  17,
          1985.  Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator 
          correctly advised the owner  that  any  rent  increase  collected
          between April 1, 1984 and July 17, 1985 must be refunded  to  the

          With regard to the owner's contention that it  does  not  provide
          the service of trash removal, the  Commissioner  notes  that  the
          owner  has  not  submitted  any  evidence  to  support  its  bare
          allegation, either during the proceeding before the Administrator 
          or on appeal.  The Commissioner further notes that the owner  has
          admitted to installing  an  intercom  in  the  subject  building.
          Thus, the Commissioner finds that  the  owner  does  provide  the
          services of an intercom and the removal of garbage  left  on  the
          first floor of the building.

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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  denied,
          and that the District Rent Administrator's order be, and the same 
          hereby is, affirmed.


                                                       ELLIOT SANDER
                                                       Deputy Commissioner

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