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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: CL 510136-RT

                                                  DISTRICT RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
          Corina Santana                          NO.: ZCH 520139-OI
                                                  Premises: 560 W. 136rd St.
                                                            Apt. 56, NY, NY


              The above-named tenant filed a timely petition for 
          administrative review of an order issued concerning the housing 
          accommodations described above.

              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 the petition.

              The owner commenced these proceedings by filing an Application 
          for Rent Increase, in which Application the owner requested a $27 
          per month increase in the tenant's  rent in consideration of the 
          purchase and installation of 9 new windows in the tenant's 
          apartments at a total cost to the owner of $1,422.00.  The tenant 
          did not sign the Application, but did sign an "attached letter of 
          agreement" referred to by the owner in the Application. 

              The tenant was served with a copy of the Application (but not 
          with a copy of the letter of agreement), and was afforded an 
          opportunity to reply.  The tenant answered by asserting that she 
          did not want new windows, but merely wanted repairs to the old 
          windows.  She claimed that she was presented with a "paper" by 
          repairmen, and that she signed the "paper" (apparently the letter 
          of agreement mentioned above) only because she didn't understand 
          English, and she believed that she had to sign the paper in order 
          to get any repairs done.  The fact that the tenant speaks only 
          Spanish was corroborated in a letter submitted soon after by an 
          attorney who was aiding the tenant.

              The Administrator granted the $27.00 per month rent increase 
          requested by the owner.

          Docket No.: CL 510136-RT
              In her petition, the tenant reiterates her contention made 
          below that she did not give her voluntary consent to the rent 
          increase.  The allegation of fraudulent inducement by the owner 
          which the tenant made obliquely below, she now makes explicitly by 
          stating on appeal "The landlord's agent told me that I was required 
          to sign the paper... otherwise no repairs would be made to my 
          windows."  The owner answered the tenant's petition by submitting 
          an affidavit of Mr. Herman Gomez, allegedly the superintendent of 
          the premises in question, in which Mr. Gomez states that on or 
          about November 1, 1986 he accompanied the owner's principal (Mr. 
          Norman S. Weinstein) to the tenant's apartment and he assisted Mr. 
          Weinstein in explaining to the tenant, in Spanish, that she had the 
          option of signing or not signing a consent form to obtain new 
          windows, without prejudice to her right to have ordinary repairs 
          performed on her old windows without a corresponding rent increase.

              The Administrator is of the opinion that these proceedings 
          should be remanded to the Administrator.

              A review of the facts above reveals that the tenant did not 
          sign the Application but signed another form indicating her consent 
          to the replacement of the windows and the corresponding rent 
          increase.  The tenant responded below that she did not give her 
          voluntary consent to the window replacement because she believed 
          that the consent form she signed was a necessary  prerequisite to 
          repairs of the old windows.  She blamed this misunderstanding on 
          her lack of fluency in English, this disability being confirmed by 
          a letter from an attorney.

              Despite the above-stated occurences, the Administrator did not 
          seek to gain additional information from either the owner or the 
          tenant regarding the voluntariness of tenant's consent to the 
          window replacement.  The Commissioner feels that the Administrator 
          was in error in not making further inquiries to clarify this 
          critical issue.

              THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent and Eviction 
          Regulations, it is

               ORDERED, that these proceedings be, and the same hereby are, 
          remanded to the Administrator for further consideration.  On 
          remand, the Administrator is hereby directed to hold a hearing to 
          determine the circumstances of how the tenant's "consent" to the 
          rent increase in consideration of the purchase and installation by 
          the owner of new windows in the tenant's apartment was obtained by 
          the owner.


                                             Joseph A. D'Agosta
                                             Acting Deputy Commissioner

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