BH 420292 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. BH 420292 RO
                                              :  DRO DOCKET NO. ZAK-420367-R
          132 ORCHARD STREET REALTY CORP.                   

                                PETITIONER    : 
          ------------------------------------X 

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


               On August 11, 1987, the above-named petitioner-landlord filed 
          a Petition for Administrative Review against an  order  issued  on
          July 7, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall  Street,
          Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known  as
          132 Orchard Street, New York, New York, Apartment No. 4.

               The Administrative Appeal is being determined pursuant to the 
          provisions of the Rent and Eviction Regulations for New York City.

               The issue herein is whether the  Rent  Administrator's  order
          was warranted.

               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  initiated  in  November  1986,  by  the
          tenant's filing of a rent overcharge complaint.  ON  December  16,
          1986, the  landlord  was  served  with  a  copy  of  the  tenant's
          complaint.  On January 14, 1987, the landlord's attorney asked for 
          a twenty day extension  to  answer  the  tenant's  complaint.   In
          February 1987, the landlord indicated that  the  tenant  would  be
          withdrawing his  overcharge  complaint  and  that  the  notice  of
          withdrawal would be sent shortly.  No  further  communication  was
          received from the landlord.

               The Rent Administrator's order, appealed herein,  listed  the
          maximum collectible rent for the subject apartment as  $71.34  per
          month effective January 1,  1979  to  the  present  not  including
          1986-87 maximum base rent increases if the landlord  was  eligible
          to collect same and not including any fuel cost adjustments  which
          the landlord may be entitled to collect.   This  order  was  based
          upon an examination of the rent records for the subject apartment.

               In this petition, the landlord alleges in substance that  the
          tenant occupied the subject apartment rent free as  superintendent
          of the subject premises and therefore should not be  considered  a
          rent controlled tenant, and that the tenant told the landlord that 








          BH 420292 RO


          he would withdraw his overcharge complaint and the landlord relied 
          on such representation in answering the complaint.   The  landlord
          submitted no evidence in support of its contentions.

               In answer to the petition, the  tenant  stated  in  substance
          that he has lived in the subject apartment since  1943,  and  that
          the landlord is harassing him and wants him to vacate the  subject
          apartment.

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should
          be denied.

               The landlord has submitted no  evidence  in  support  of  its
          contention that the tenant herein was the  superintendent  of  the
          subject premises or even stated  how  long  the  tenant  allegedly
          acted in such capacity.  It is noted that if the subject apartment 
          was first rented to the tenant herein and the tenant later  became
          the superintendent,  the  apartment  would  revert  back  to  rent
          control  status  upon  termination  of  the  tenant's  employment.
          Moreover, this is not a de novo proceeding  so  that  the  owner's
          contention, raised  for  the  first  time  on  appeal,  cannot  be
          considered.  It is further noted that the  tenant  never  withdrew
          his complaint during the proceeding before the Rent  Administrator
          although there may have been settlement discussions  so  that  the
          landlord was obligated to file an answer on  the  merits  to  said
          complaint if it wanted the merits of its case  to  be  considered.
          Since the landlord did not file an answer on the merits, the  Rent
          Administrator's order was warranted.

               With regard to the tenant's allegation that the  landlord  is
          harassing him so that he will vacate the  subject  apartment,  the
          tenant may file a harassment complaint  at  the  DHCR  Enforcement
          Bureau at 156 William Street.

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent  and
          Eviction Regulations for New York City, it is

               ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and 
          the same hereby is, denied,  and,  that  the  order  of  the  Rent
          Administrator be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.

          ISSUED



                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                                                    
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