GERTZ PLAZA
                     92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                     JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433


APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CE110163R0 
J.H. Winfrey/
Visutton Management Corp.,              RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.: BJ110326S      

                PETITIONER              PREMISES:  Apt. 3R
                                                   99-05 63rd.Dr.
                                                   Rego Park, NY


          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review of an order issued on May 4, 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 27, 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 December 18, 1987, the owner requested an 
          extension to file an answer until March 31, 1988. In its letter, the 
          owner states 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, but not limited to, "schedules for commencing 
          and completing the work." 


          The owner having failed to respond to DHCR's request on February 22, 
          1988, a physical inspection of the apartment was conducted by a DHCR 
          staff member who confirmed the existence of peeling paint on foyer 
          and living room walls.

          In a late answer filed on March 2, 1988, the owner submitted a 
          tenant-signed work order which in relevant parts stated that plaster 
          and paint were applied as needed, the work having been allegedly 
          completed on January 27, 1988, i.e. before the DHCR inspection.

          By order dated May 4, 1988, the Administrator directed the 
          restoration of services and further ordered a reduction of the 
          stabilized rent based on the inspection finding of peeling paint on 
          foyer and living room walls.

          In the petition for administrative review, the owner contends that 
          by a letter dated March 17, 1988, it requested DHCR for further 
          extension until April 30, 1988, stating that "if we do not hear from 
          you to the contrary we will assume such extension has been granted".

          On July 14, 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. The owner's submission of a 
          tenant-signed work order which in relevant part stated that the 
          application of plaster and paint was completed prior to the 
          inspection is belied by the report of the DHCR on-site inspector, 
          who confirmed the existence of peeling paint on foyer and living 
          room walls, subsequent to the owner's alleged repairs. In addition, 
          this submission in the proceeding below was not raised by the owner 
          in the petition. Therefore, the Administrator's determination was 
          proper and is hereby sustained.

          Though the complaint was transmitted to the owner with notice to the 
          effect that it had 21 days to interpose an answer, the owner 
          requested an extension to file an answer until March 31, 1988, 
          stating that "if we do not hear from you we must assume it has been 
          accepted."  Neither denying nor granting the request for an 
          extension, DHCR subsequently requested the owner for more specific 
          information on "schedules for commencing and completing the work". 
          The owner's late response to DHCR's inquiry alleged that repairs 
          were completed prior to the inspection. However, the inspection 
          contradicted the owner's assertion of repairs. 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 is 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 three (3) months after the answer was due.

          The Commissioner notes that the owner's rent restoration application 
          (CL110114OR) was granted on July 17, 1989.

          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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