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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CE410120RO
          JOSEPH PECORARO                         RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET 
                                                  NO.: CB410128S

               On May 17, 1988 the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order of the Rent 
          Administrator issued April 22, 1988. The order concerned housing 
          accommodations known as Apt 4-FN located at 1431 First Avenue, New 
          York, N.Y.  The Administrator established the tenant's rent at 
          $1.00 pursuant to Section 2522.6 of the Rent Stabilization Code 
          based on the fact that the tenant had to involuntarily vacate the 
          subject apartment after a fire.

               The Commissioner has reviewed the record and carefully 
          considered that portion relevant to the issues raised by this 

               The tenant commenced this proceeding on February 18, 1988 by 
          filing a Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services and stated, 
          in sum, that his apartment had been rendered uninhabitable as the 
          result of a fire on February 17, 1988. 

               The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and afforded 
          an opportunity to respond. The owner filed a response on March 12, 
          1988 and stated, in sum, that water, heat and temporary electricity 
          had been restored to the apartments in the building, that other 
          repairs were in progress and that the owner was willing to accept 
          a rent of $1.00 for the month of March.
               The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the subject 
          apartment.  The inspection was conducted on March 25, 1988 and 
          revealed smoke damage and the fact that gas was not being provided.
          The inspector also reported that the tenant was not residing in the 

               The Administrator issued the order here under review on April 
          22, 1988 and established the tenant's rent at $1.00 effective 


          February 17, 1988, the date of the fire.

               On appeal the owner, as represented by counsel, states that 
          the owner was not given a full and fair opportunity to be heard in 
          that, on April 8, 1988 the owner's attorney submitted a request to 
          be given until April 27, 1988 to file a supplementary answer but 
          the Administrator issued the order here under review on April 22, 
          1988.  The owner further states that a rent reduction was not 
          warranted because the apartment was never rendered uninhabitable 
          and because the tenant was subjected to "minor inconveniences" in 
          service reductions.  Finally, the owner states that the service 
          reductions found by the Administrator were de minimis and promptly 
          corrected by March 27, 1988.  The petition was served on the tenant 
          on July 6, 1988.

               After careful review of the evidence in the record, the 
          Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

               With regard to the owner's argument that it was not given a 
          full and fair opportunity to be heard, the Commissioner notes that 
          the owner filed an answer on March 12, 1988 wherein it agreed to 
          accept a rent reduction of the tenant's rent to $1.00 per month for 
          the month of March based on the admission that services had been 
          disrupted.  The owner's April 8, 1988 request for additional time 
          to answer was received by the Administrator only after the order 
          was issued.

               With regard to the owner's argument that the service 
          reductions were de minimis in nature, the Commissioner finds that 
          the fact that the tenant did not have gas in the apartment can not 
          be charactorized as a "minor inconvenience".  The order here under 
          review was correctly issued and is affirmed.

               The Commissioner notes that, on September 30, 1988 a stay of 
          the prospective application for the Administrator's order was 
          granted.  This stay, as well as the automatic stay of the 
          retroactive rent abatement that resulted from the issuance of the 
          Administrator's order is vacated upon issuance of this order and 
          opinion.  The owner may file for rent restoration if services have 
          been fully restored.  The Commissioner notes that rent restoration 
          should be granted, if appropriate, effective the date upon which 
          the owner establishes that the apartment was rendered habitable.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it 


               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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