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


          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CE110164R0 
          J.H. Winfrey/
          Visutton Management Corp.,              RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.: BJ110342S      

                          PETITIONER              PREMISES:  Apt. 5D
                                                             99-40 63rd. Rd.
                                                             Rego Park, NY


          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review of an order issued on May 5, 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 

          On December 10, 1987, the owner wrote DHCR requesting a thirty (30) 
          day extension to respond, stating that "if we do not hear from your 
          office to the contrary, we will assume that such request has been 

          By letter dated December 18, 1987, the owner requested another 
          extension to file an answer until March 31, 1988, again stating that 
          "if we do not hear from your office to the contrary, we will assume 
          that such request has been granted."


          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 failed to respond to DHCR's request.

          On February 17, 1988, a physical inspection of the apartment was 
          conducted by a DHCR staff member who confirmed the existence of 
          defective conditions.

          By order dated May 5, 1988, the Administrator directed the 
          restoration of services and further ordered a reduction of the 
          stabilized rent based on these inspection results:

               1. The bedroom ceiling is peeling paint.
               2. The living room ceiling and walls have peeling paint and    
               3. The apartment entrance door lock is defective; the cylinder  
               4. The dining room and living room sills are peeling paint.

               5. The two bedroom windows have air seepage.

          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 would assume that such extension has been 
          granted"; and that it was not notified by DHCR that this request was 

          In answer, the tenant asserted in substance that there is still a 
          remaining defective condition.

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

          The record clearly shows that the Administrator's determination was 
          properly based on a timely inspection which found defective 
          conditions 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 answer. By letter received on 
          December 18, 1987, the owner requested an extension to file an 
          answer until March 31, 1988, stating that "if there were no 
          objections, we would assume that such extension has been granted."  
          Neither denying nor granting the request for an extension, DHCR 
          answered on January 7, 1988 the owner's letter with an inquiry for 
          more specific information on "schedules for commencing and 
          completing the work". The owner failed to respond to DHCR's inquiry. 


          The owner made two extension requests, assuming in both instances 
          that DHCR grants the extension automatically. In the case at bar, 

          DHCR neither denied nor granted the requests, but answered the 
          owner's letter with an inquiry for some evidence of repairs as a 
          schedule for commencing and completing the work. The owner failed to 
          submit any evidence of repairs. The Commissioner notes that the 
          Division was not required to respond in writing to an extension 
          request and in the absence of a clear, written grant, a party may 
          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 

          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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