DOCKET NO.:  DE 710269-RO
                                 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   :   
     APPEAL OF                                 ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW  
                                           :     DOCKET   NO.   DE    710269-RO
       HARDING and THORNTON, INC.,             DRO DOCKET NOS. DB 710036-RP
                                PETITIONER :                   DA 7-1-0002-OR
     --------------------------------------X      TENANT:     CARLOS     MACKEY
              
                                                  

           ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


     On May 23, 1989, the above named petitioner-owner  filed  a  Petition  for
     Administrative Review against an order issued on April 18,  1989,  by  the
     Rent Administrator, 50 Clinton  Street,  Hempstead,  New  York  concerning
     housing  accommodations  known  as  Apartment  A-14,  565  Fulton  Avenue,
     Hempstead, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined,  based  on
     an inspection, that the dishwasher was not working properly and  therefore
     denied the owner's application to have the rent restored.

     The issue in this appeal is whether the Administrator's denial of the rent 
     restoration was proper.

     The applicable section of the Tenant  Protection  Regulations  is  Section
     2503.4 (formerly Section 44).

     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 administrative appeal.

     The owner commenced this proceeding on  December  8,  1988  by  filing  an
     application to restore the rent which had  been  frozen  in  order  number
     HEMPTC-83-313, issued September 30, 1983, in part  based  on  the  owner's
     failure to repair the dishwasher.

     In answer to the  application,  the  tenant  stated,  in  part,  that  the
     dishwasher still did not work properly.  This was confirmed on  April  11,
     1989 by a Division inspector.

     In this petition, the owner contends that the Rent  Administrator's  Order
     is incorrect and should be modified because all services had been restored 
     on the date the application was filed and the landlord had not been  given
     notice of the tenant's response to the application; nor had the owner been 
     given prior notice of the inspection on which  the  Administrator's  order
     was based.  The petitioner contends that "[t]his error  is  arbitrary  and
     capricious since the Landlord had no  opportunity  to  respond  to  and/or
     correct the situation."

     In addition the petitioner contends that  the  underlying  rent  reduction






          DOCKET NO.:  DE 710269-RO
     order (HEMPTC 83-313) did not state it had been based  in  an  inspection.
     If such an inspection occurred, neither it nor any tenant responses in the 
     proceeding had been served on  the  owner.   Accordingly,  the  underlying
     proceeding   should   now   be   remanded   to   the   Administrator   for
     reconsideration.

     Furthermore, the owner argues that the Administrator erred  n  HEMPTC  83-
     313 by not specifying what repairs to the dishwasher were required.

     In addition the owner argues,  in  substance,  that  "the  original  issue
     presented regarding, the dishwasher was refusal to do repairs" (as opposed 
     to any specified defect in the dishwasher).  Therefore, an attempt by  the
     owner to repair the dishwasher should suffice to restore the rent, even if 
     a defect remains.  Such remaining defect could  only  be  addressed  in  a
     subsequent service complaint.

     In support of the petition  the  owner  submits  a  copy  of  Harding  and
     Thornton, Inc. v. DHCR, Supreme Court, Nassau County, Index  No.  7102/88,
     J. Goldstein, issued November 1, 1988, involving  the  present  petitioner
     but regarding a different building.  In  that  proceeding,  the  DHCR  had
     reduced the rent for 37 of 117 apartments based on an  inspection  report.
     The Court remanded, holding that "the fact that [the DHCR] did not  permit
     petitioner to review or comment on the  inspection  report  prior  to  the
     decision does constitute a deprivation of due process."

     In answer to this petition, the tenant contends that the order  should  be
     upheld because the inspection demonstrated that the services had not  been
     restored prior to the owner's filing of its application for restoration of 
     rent.

     The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be denied.

     At  the  outset  the  Commissioner  notes  the  petitioner's   contentions
     regarding Administrator's order number HEMPTC  83-313,  wherein  the  rent
     reduction was initially ordered, are beyond  the  scope  of  this  appeal.
     Such contentions could only have been raised  in  a  timely  petition  for
     administrative  review  against  that  order  itself.   Nevertheless,  the
     Commissioner notes that order was based in part on an  inspection  of  the
     subject apartment by the Building Inspector for the Village of  Hempstead,
     the findings of which were communicated to the owner by a letter dated May 
     24, 1983 from the senior building inspector.

     Regarding the rent restoration order itself, the owner's argument that all 
     that was required of the  owner  was  to  cease  refusing  to  repair  the
     dishwasher, so that a faulty or an unworkmanlike repair would  suffice  to
     restore the rent, is not only without merit but raises serious question as 
     to the good faith of the owner.

     Finally, DHCR policy with respect to inspections  is  that  they  be  held
     without notice except to the extent necessary to  gain  access.   Thus  an
     item in a public area will normally be inspected without notice to  either
     owner or tenants, whereas for an item to which access can be  gained  from
     one party, only that party will receive notice.  See Policy Stateme t  90-
     4.  This policy has been upheld by the courts.  See Howard-Carol  Tenants'
     Assoc. v. CAB, N.Y.L.J., July 17, 1978, p. 6, App. Div., affirmed  by  the
     Court of Appeals, in N.Y.L.J., Nov. 15, 1979, p. 6.  The case cited by the 
     owner is easily distinguishable since the area to be inspected therein was 
     in a public area, so  that  no  notice  was  necessary  to  either  party.
     Nevertheless, the tenants, but  not  the  owner  had  been  given  access,






          DOCKET NO.:  DE 710269-RO
     creating an appearance of impropriety.

     Nor does an owner have a right to comment on the inspection  report  prior
     to the Administrator's decision.  See Chinitz v. DHCR, Sup. Ct.,  N.Y.Co.,
     Index No. 01917/88, July 6, 1988, J. Kirschenbaum.

     The Commissioner notes with interest that a rent restoration for this item 
     was sought by petitioner and refused in at least  three  prior  occasions,
     each based on a separate inspection.  See H-B-B-7-1-0004-OR, June 24, 1987 
     (inspection June 8, 1987); HBI-7-1-0004-OR, February 8,  1988  (Inspection
     January 20, 1988); and HBL-7-1-0005-OR, July 29, 1988 (inspection July  5,
     1988).

     This order is without prejudice to the owner's right to apply for  a  rent
     restoration, if the facts so warrant.

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the  Emergency  Tenant  Protection  Act  and
     Regulations, it is 

     ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  denied  and  the
     Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.

     ISSUED:



                                                                              
                                                    JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Acting Deputy Commissioner  

    

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