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


          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CE110216R0 
          J.H. Winfrey/
          Visutton Management Corp.,              RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.: BJ110347S      

                          PETITIONER              PREMISES:  Apt. 9R
                                                             99-40 63rd. Rd.
                                                             Rego Park, NY


          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review of an order issued on April 28, 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 30, 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 prior to this date, we 
          must assume it has been accepted."

          On January 7, 1988, DHCR requested the owner for 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 16, 1988, a physical inspection of the apartment was 
          conducted by a DHCR staff member who confirmed the existence of 
          defective conditions.

          By order dated April 28, 1988, the Administrator directed the 
          restoration of services and further ordered a reduction of the 
          stabilized rent based on these inspection results:

               1. The floor tiles have holes throughout.
               2. The kitchen window screen is missing.
               3. The kitchen walls are uneven and peeling paint.
               4. 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 will assume such extension has been granted"; 
          and that it was not notified by DHCR that this request was denied.  
          On July 15, 1988, DHCR mailed the tenant a copy of the owner's 

          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, warranting a rent reduction.

          Although a copy of the complaint was transmitted to the owner with 
          notice to the effect that it had 21 days to interpose an answer, the 
          requested an extension to do so four (4) months later, stating that 
          "if we do not hear from you prior to this date, we must assume it 
          has been accepted."  Neither denying nor granting the request for an 
          extension, DHCR answered 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 
          Commissioner notes that DHCR was not required to respond in writing 
          to this extension request and in the absence of a clear, written 
          grant, the owner could not assume that such a request would be 
          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 Commissioner notes that the following owner's rent restoration 
          applications were denied: CJ110091OR on March 13, 1989, EI110178OR 
          on April 12, 1991, and FI110098OR on July 20, 1992.


          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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