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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:              
                  SIMILIS MANAGEMENT,
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                   PETITIONER     CG510030S 


          The above-named petitioner-owner filed a timely petition for 
          administrative review (PAR) of an order issued concerning the 
          housing accommodation known as 41 Bennett Avenue, Apartment 25, 
          New York, New York.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record and 
          has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to the 
          issues raised by the petition.             

          The tenant commenced the proceeding below by filing a complaint on 
          July 8,1988, asserting that there was a fire in the apartment on 
          June 23, 1988 due to faulty wiring and the apartment is not 
          liveable, the windows were broken by the fire department and the 
          rooms and hall are charred.

          The complaint  was sent to the owner on July 26, 1988, but the 
          record does not contain an answer.

          Thereafter an inspection of the subject apartment was conducted by 
          a Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) inspector on 
          August 2, 1988, who confirmed the existence of the following de- 
          fective conditions:

               1.   Due to fire damage, light and gas service has 
                    been discontinued.               
               2.   Due to extensive smoke, fire, and water dam- 
                    age, the apartment is not habitable.


               3.   Walls and ceilings have extensive damage, ap- 
                    pliances, stove, and refrigerator are not in 
               4.   The tenant is not in occupancy and has vacated 
                    the apartment involuntarily.

          The Rent Administrator established the rent at $1.00 per month.

          In its petition for administrative review, the owner states that 
          its answer was overlooked.  The owner submitted a copy of an answer 
          dated August 4, 1988 stating that the tenant is an illegal sublet 
          who was never granted a sublet lease and steps are being taken to 
          evict him and that they did not have access to the apartment to 
          restore it to livable conditions because the tenant had the keys.  
          The owner further states that all necessary repairs had been made.

          The DHCR served a copy of the petition on the tenant on November 
          10, 1988.

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

          The Commissioner has considered the owner's claim that the Rent 
          Administrator erred by establishing the rent at $1.00 without 
          considering the owner's claim that the tenant was an illegal sublet 
          and rejects this argument.

          The scope of review in administrative appeals is limited to a 
          review of facts or evidence that were before the Administrator.  
          The owner's answer was not before the Administrator and there is no 
          evidence that it was mailed to or received by the Division.  The 
          matters raised in that answer are, therefore, beyond the scope of 
          review of this proceeding.  Moreover, the alleged denial of access 
          is not substantiated by the owner with evidence showing attempts to 
          gain access.

          The owner may file a rent restoration application if the facts so 
          warrant.  The rent will not be restored until a rent restoration 
          application is filed and granted.  The tenant is advised to file an 
          overcharge complaint with the Division if the owner has collected 
          an illegal rent.

          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 
          and the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, 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 


                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner          


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