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 REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                                DOCKET NOS.:DL410345RO    
                                                               DK410279RO

          Riverside Drive Corp. c/o                RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
          Rosenberg and Estis, P.C.,               DOCKET NO.:DI410069S      
                                                       
                                                   SUBJECT PREMISES:
                                                      258 Riverside Drive
                                                      Apt. AA
                                                      New York, NY    
                                PETITIONER     
          -----------------------------------X                           
                ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

            The above-named owner filed timely petitions for administrative 
            review of an order issued on October 30, 1989 concerning the housing 
            accommodations relating to the above-described docket number. These 
            two petitions (DL410345RO and DK410279RO) are consolidated herein 
            because they arise from common issues of law and fact.  

            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 petitions.

            The tenant commenced this proceeding on August 30, 1989 by filing a 
            complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain various 
            services in the subject apartment.

            On September 14, 1989, DHCR mailed a Notice and Transmittal of the 
            Complaint to the owner, advising that "failure to file an answer 
            within twenty (20) days from the date appearing on this notice shall 
            be considered a default and may result in a determination based on 
            the record as presently before the agency." 

            In an answer dated October 3, 1989 (filed on October 17, 1989), the 
            owner by its former attorneys requested "an additional 20 days (to 
            October 24, 1989) to respond to this complaint." 

            A physical inspection of the subject apartment was conducted on 
            October 11, 1989 by a DHCR staff member who confirmed the existence 
            of various defective conditions, namely:

                 (1) The living room wall paper was peeling due to water       
                     moisture.
                 (2) The bathtub was scarred and pitted.
                 (3) The toilet cold water cut-off valve did not close        
                     properly.
                 (4) There were cracked tiles going across the bathroom floor.
                 (5) The bathroom door was defective; the door was swollen,     
                     warped and out of line.
            DL410345RO, DK410279RO







                 (6) The venetian blind in the bedroom was defective.
                 (7) The medicine chest could not be closed and the side edges  
                     were very sharp.
                 (8) The hallway closet had broken plaster; there was a hole in  
                     the closet wall.
              
            By an order dated October 30, 1989, the Administrator directed the 
            restoration of services and ordered a rent reduction.

            On November 1, 1989, the owner represented by counsel requested a 
            further extension of time to file an answer up to and including 
            November 21, 1989.

            Upon receipt of the Administrator's order, the owner filed a 
            petition for administrative review, contending in substance that it 
            was not afforded an opportunity to respond to the complaint; that 
            the tenant already had her rent reduced by other DHCR orders; and 
            that a stay of the Administrator's order reducing the tenant's 
            current monthly rent was requested.

            In answer, the tenant denied the allegations in the petition and 
            otherwise asserted that various defective conditions still exist.

            After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that 
            the owner's petitions should be denied.

            Pursuant to Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code, DHCR is 
            required to order a rent reduction, upon application, by a tenant, 
            where it is found that an owner has failed to maintain required 
            services. The owner's petitions do not establish any basis to modify 
            or revoke the Administrator's order based on an October 11, 1989 
            inspection which confirmed the existence of defective conditions, 
            warranting a rent reduction.

            The record establishes that on September 14, 1989, DHCR mailed a 
            Notice and Transmittal of the Complaint to the owner, advising that 
            "failure to file an answer within twenty (20) days from the date 
            appearing on this notice shall be considered a default and may 
            result in a determination based on the record as presently before 
            the agency." The Commissioner notes that the owner on two occasions 
            requested twenty (20) day extensions to respond to the complaint: 
            (1) to October 24, 1989 and (2) to November 21, 1989. These requests 
            to file an answer beyond the twenty (20) days from the September 14, 
            1989 mailing of the Notice and Transmittal of the Complaint were 
            properly not granted by the Administrator. The tenant's complaint is 
            sufficient notice to the owner to investigate and make necessary 
            repairs, and/or to interpose an answer (Empress Manor Apartments v. 
            NYS DHCR, 538 NYS 2d 49, 147 AD 2d 642, February 21, 1989). Any 
            request for an extension of time which is not consented to in 
            writing by DHCR is denied, and no written response by DHCR is 
            required.

            There is nothing in the record supporting the owner's contention 
            that the tenant already had her rent reduced by other DHCR orders 
            based on the October 11, 1989 physical inspection.



            DL410345RO, DK410279RO





            The Commissioner notes that the issue of a stay of the 
            Administrator's order reducing the tenant's current monthly rent was 
            already decided by DHCR's mailing to the owner of a March 22, 1990 
            Notice of Partial Stay Upon Filing of a Petition for Administrative 
            Review.

            The Commissioner further notes that the owner's rent restoration 
            application (GK410040OR) was granted on March 23, 1993.

            THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code 
            and Operational Bulletin 84-1, it is

            ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, denied 
            and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby, is 
            affirmed.

            ISSUED:



                                                                          
                                                  JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                  Deputy Commissioner





    

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