STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NOS.:DL410345RO
Riverside Drive Corp. c/o RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
Rosenberg and Estis, P.C., DOCKET NO.:DI410069S
258 Riverside Drive
New York, NY
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
(2) The bathtub was scarred and pitted.
(3) The toilet cold water cut-off valve did not close
(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.
(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
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.
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
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
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA