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

          APPEAL OF                             DOCKET NO.: CA430026RO  
                                                RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                DOCKET NO.: BB430040B       

                    S.A.W. Inc.,

               The above-named owner filed a timely petition for 
          administrative review of an order issued on December 11, 1987, 
          concerning the housing accommodations known as 1103 First Avenue, 
          New York, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined that 
          certain conditions found at the subject premises constituted 
          building-wide services decreases.

               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 the petition.

               The tenants commenced this proceeding on February 9, 1987 by 
          filing a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain 
          certain services at the subject premises.

               A file copy of the notice and transmittal of the tenants' 
          complaint, and notes in the Examiner's progress sheet, reflect that 
          the tenants' complaint, with answer forms, was served on the owner 
          on February 27, 1987.

               In an answer dated April 10, 1987, the owner, by its 
          attorneys, requested the first of several extensions of time in 
          which to answer, stating that the owner was "...awaiting compliance 
          with an application for public access to records filed with the 
          DHCR on this matter in order to draft a complete answer to the 
          tenants' complaint...."  Similar requests for extensions were 
          received on July 9, October 1, and December 2, 1987.


               By a letter dated December 11, 1987, the Rent Administrator 
          advised the owner's attorneys that the December 2 request for an 
          extension of time was denied and not warranted, and that a 
          determination would be made based on the evidence of record.

               A Rent Administrator's order was issued on the same day, based 
          on an inspection that had been conducted on April 1987, which 
          confirmed the tenants' complaints of defective intercoms, public 
          areas in need of cleaning, and an inadequate number of garbage 
          cans.  The Administrator directed restoration of these services, 
          and further, ordered a reduction of the regulated rents.

               In the petition for administrative review, the owner asserts, 
          for the first time, that the owner was unable to file an answer 
          because it was never served a copy of the complaint, that the 
          Administrator's order constitutes the first notice of specific 
          defects, and that the issuance of the order without first providing 
          the owner an opportunity to respond to the tenants' allegations 
          was, therefore, a violation of the owner's right to due process.  
          The tenants were served copies of the owner's petition.

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

               Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, 
          DHCR is required to order a rent reduction, upon application by a 
          tenant, where it is found that an owner has failed to maintain 
          required services.  Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction 
          Regulations contains similar provisions.

               The record reveals that the complaint was properly served on 
          the owner, and that shortly thereafter, the owner's representative 
          responded to request the first of several extensions of time to 
          respond, as it was awaiting the DHCR compliance with the owner's 
          application to review the case docket.

               However, the owner never indicated in any of the extension 
          requests, nor in the application to review the file, that the owner 
          never received the complaint, Nor did the owner request a copy of 
          the complaint.

               The issue of lack of due process is raised for the first time 
          on appeal.  However, the owner's petition fails to establish the 
          owner's claim of lack of due process.  There is, therefore, no 
          basis for modifying or revoking the Administrator's order, which 
          determined that the owner was not maintaining services, based on a 
          physical inspection confirming the existence of defective 
          conditions in the subject premises, for which the rent reductions 
          were warranted.


               DHCR records also show that the Rent Administrator issued an 
          order on September 2, 1988 that granted the owner's rent 
          restoration application per DRO Docket No. CA430205OR.

               The automatic stay of the retroactive rent abatement that 
          resulted in the filing of the petition is vacated upon the issuance 
          of this order and opinion.

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

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


                                                  Joseph A. D'Agosta         
                                                  Deputy Commissioner        



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