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


          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CB110216R0 
          J.H. Winfrey/
          Visutton Management Corp.,              RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.: BJ110304S      
                          PETITIONER              PREMISES:  Apt. 7X
                                                             99-05 63rd.Dr.
                                                             Rego Park, NY


          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review of an order issued on February 3, 1988 concerning the housing 
          accommodations relating to the above-described docket number.

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

          This proceeding was commenced on October 5, 1987 by a tenant filing 
          a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain various  
          services in the subject apartment.

          On November 12, 1987, a copy of the complaint was transmitted to the 
          owner with notice to the effect that it had 21 days to interpose an 

          By letter received on November 20, 1987, the owner requested a 
          thirty (30) day extension to respond, stating that "if we do not 
          hear from your agency to the contrary, we will assume such request 
          has been granted."

          On December 18, 1987, the owner requested another extension to 
          interpose an answer until March 31, 1988, stating that "if we do not 
          hear from you we must assume it has been accepted."

          On January 7, 1988, DHCR requested the owner to submit more specific 
          information including "schedules for commencing and completing the 

          The owner failed to respond to DHCR's request

          On December 7, 1987, a physical inspection of the apartment was 
          conducted by a DHCR staff member who confirmed the existence of 
          defective conditions.

          By order dated February 3, 1988, the Administrator directed the 
          restoration of services and further ordered a reduction of the 
          stabilized rent based on these inspection results:

               1. The tiles in the bathroom are missing, broken and need to be 
               2. The hot water faucet in the bathroom is leaking.
               3. The intercom does not work.
               4. The tiles in the bedroom and the living room are broken.
               5. The toilet is defective; the flushometer leaks.
               6. The apartment entrance door is defective; two steps are   
                  loose, a hazardous condition.  
               7. The stove is not working properly; one pilot does not     

          In the petition for administrative review, the owner contends that 
          it made two extension requests in the proceeding below, which were 
          neither granted nor denied by DHCR. Its first request was for a 
          thirty (30) day extension; its second request was to interpose an 
          answer until March 31, 1988.  In both instances, the owner stated 
          that if it did not hear from DHCR it assumed that the extension was 

          On March 31, 1988, a copy of the owner's petition was mailed to the 

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that 
          the petition should be denied.

          The Administrator's determination was properly based on a timely 
          inspection which found defective conditions in the subject 
          apartment, warranting a rent reduction. Accordingly, the 
          Administrator's determination was proper and is hereby sustained.

          In this case, the complaint was transmitted to the owner on November 
          12, 1987 with notice to the effect that it had 21 days to interpose 
          an answer. After requesting a thirty (30) day extension, the owner 
          again requested an extension to file an answer until March 31, 1988. 
          In both requests, the owner stated that if it did not hear from DHCR 
          it assumed that the extension was granted. Neither denying nor 
          granting the request for an extension, DHCR inquired on January 7, 
          1988 from the owner information on "schedules for commencing and 
          completing the work."  The owner failed to respond to DHCR's 
          inquiry. The Commissioner notes that the Division is not required to 

          respond in writing to this extension request and in the absence of 
          a clear, written grant, the owner should not assume that such a 

          request could be granted.  

          Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator was not 
          in error in refusing a second application to extend the owner's time 
          to answer more than four (4) months after the answer was due.

          The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that resulted  
          by the filing of this petition is vacated upon issuance of this 
          Order and Opinion.

          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 Administrator's order be, and the same hereby, is affirmed.


                                                  JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                  Deputy Commissioner


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