DH410073RT

                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK  11433

          ------------------------------------X
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. DH410073RT

                                             
               Carmen Smith,                      DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
                                                  DOCKET NO. ZDF410108R

                                   PETITIONER
          ------------------------------------X

          ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW AND
                                REMANDING PROCEEDING
                         TO THE DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR

          On August 8, 1989 the above-named petitioner-tenant filed an appeal 
          against the termination of her complaint of rent overcharge issued 
          on August 3, 1989 by the Rent Administrator, concerning housing 
          accommodations known as Apt. 1RE at 423 West 45th Street, New York, 
          New York, based on the purported withdrawal of her complaint.
           
          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record in 
          this case, including a letter of withdrawal allegedly signed by the 
          tenant which was the basis for the Administrator's termination 
          order.  

          On administrative appeal, the tenant asserts that the withdrawal 
          statement was apparently forged by the owner, that the only 
          document she signed stated only her acknowledgment of certain 
          repairs, that any other statement on that form must have been added 
          by the owner without the tenant's knowledge or consent, and that 
          there appears to be outright fraud by the owner.

          By subsequent correspondence, the owner requested a hearing on this 
          matter and asserted that the tenant's petition for administrative 
          review should be rejected because the tenant had advised the owner 
          that she had no knowledge of the petition.  In response to a notice 
          to the tenant from the DHCR dated March 23, 1993, the tenant 
          advised that she did not wish to withdraw her petition and that she 
          wished to have a determination of the case on the merits.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this proceeding should be 
          remanded to the Rent Administrator for determination of the 
          tenant's substantive complaint.














          DH410073RT

          Section 2520.13 of the Rent Stabilization Code provides, in 
          pertinent part, that an agreement by the tenant to waive the 
          benefit of any provision of the Rent Stabilization Code is void, 
          provided, however, that based upon a negotiated settlement between 
          the parties and with the approval of the DHCR, or a court of 
          competent jurisdiction where a tenant is represented by counsel, a 
          tenant may withdraw, with prejudice, any complaint pending before 
          the DHCR. 

          The Commissioner finds that since the purported withdrawal by the 
          tenant was not in accordance with the statute, it is unenforceable.  
          Accordingly, the termination of the tenant's complaint by the 
          Administrator was erroneous.  Therefore the proceeding is remanded 
          to the Rent Administrator for processing of the tenant's complaint 
          on the merits.

          The tenant's allegation of fraud should be considered by the 
          Administrator on remand, and a hearing may be held on this issue, 
          if warranted.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted; 
          that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, revoked 
          and that the proceeding be and the same hereby is remanded to the 
          District Rent Administrator for further processing in accordance 
          with this order and opinion.  


          ISSUED:

                                                                             
                                             Joseph A. D'Agosta
                                             Deputy Commissioner
    

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