FE 220106-RT

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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:   
                                                  FE              220106-RT
                 BINDO DE GREGORIO,
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.: EI 220119-OR


          On May 8, 1991, the above-named petitioner-tenant, filed a  Peti-
          tion for Administrative Review against an order issued  on  April
          26, 1991, by a Rent Administrator concerning the  housing  accom-
          modations,  known  as  1653  65th  Street,  Brooklyn,  New  York,
          Apartment D-12 wherein  the  Administrator  granted  the  owner's
          application for the restoration of rent.

          The issue on appeal is whether the Administrator's order was cor 

          The applicable law is Section 2523.4 of  the  Rent  Stabilization

          The tenant originally  commenced  the  proceedings  by  filing  a
          complaint of decrease in apartment services.

          On January 25, 1990 the Rent Administrator issued Order No.  
          CK 220287-S, wherein it was determined  to  reduce  the  tenant's
          rent because the entire premises required painting and repair  of
          leaks.  Such reduction was to take effect as of December 1, 1988.

          On September 18, 1990 the owner filed an application for the res 
          toration of rent as based on the tenant's unreasonable denial  of
          access to the owner to enable him to restore services.   Attached
          to the application was a sworn affidavit dated September 18, 1990 

          from Luis Alvarez, a painter  hired  by  the  owner,  who  stated
          therein that t e  tenant  refused  him  access  to  the  subject-
          premises for a scheduled appointment on September 17,  1990,  and
          also refused to reschedule the appointment.  Also attached was  a
          copy of a letter to the tenant from the owner, dated  August  17,
          1990, informing the  tenant  that  a  painting  contractor  would
          arrive on August 22, 1990 to plaster and paint the  apartment;  a
          copy of a letter marked "Certified mail  return  receipt",  dated
          August 29, 1990, stating that the tenant refused  access  to  its

          FE 220106-RT
          contractor on August 22, 1990 and that a new appointment would be 
          scheduled for September 17, 1990; and a letter to the Division of 
          Housing and  Community  Renewal  (DHCR)  from  the  owner,  dated
          September 17, 1990, informing the Division that  the  tenant  had
          refused access to the owner  on  three  separate  occasions,  for
          which appointments had been announced by hand-delivered  letters,
          return receipt requested.  Copies of the certified mail  receipts
          were also enclosed with the application.

          The tenant responded that, contrary  to  those  letters,  he  did
          permit the painter to enter the apartment, but did not let him do 
          the work because "he was not permitted to use the  paint  that  I
          had on the walls", and that, as a result, the tenant commenced to 
          paint the apartment himself.  Finally, the tenant said he has not 
          yet received the owner's refund for the amount of the rent reduc 
          tion he paid after December, 1988,  the  effective  date  of  the
          reduction order.

          The tenant was then mailed a notice of an upcoming inspection  by
          a DHCR employee scheduled for January 29, 1991. When access could 
          not be obtained, the Administrator  mailed  a  notice  of  a  new
          appointment scheduled for February 1, 1991.

          On April 26, 1991, the Rent Administrator  issued  Order  No.  EI
          220119-OR, wherein the owner's application for a rent restoration 
          was granted, effective  November  1,  1990,  because  the  tenant
          failed to keep appointments with DHCR inspectors on  January  29,
          1991 and February 1,  1991.   The  order  also  stated  that  the
          apartment had been painted.

          The tenant's petition states that the tenant tried to arrange  an
          appointment for the inspection by telephone, but was unable to do 
          so, and that the tenant was unaware of the February 1 t  appoint-

          In its answer to the petition, the owner resubmitted  the  copies
          of the three certified letters previously admitted into the 

          record, and stated that its original claim that the tenant had 
          denied access to the painter was never denied by  the  tenant  at
          any time.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be

          Although the stated reason for granting the  owner's  application
          was the tenant's failure to provide access  to  DHCR  inspectors,
          the proper basis for granting it should be the tenant's denial of 
          access to the owner for the  purpose  of  making  the  designated
          repairs, which in this case is the painting of the apartment.  On 
          this matter, the record  sustains  the  owner's  claim  that  the
          tenant has unreasonably refused him such access on all occasions. 
          Neither the tenant's answer nor  the  petition  ever  denies  the
          owner's claim.  Moreover, the tenant admits as much in the answer 
          to the complaint by stating that he denied the  owner  permission
          to paint when the contractor "failed to comply" with the tenant's 
          "requests", which are not specified. In any case, the  tenant  in

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          effect denied access permanently by painting t e  apartment  him-

          With respect to the tenant's claim that the owner  has  not  com-
          plied with the reduction order by withholding the refund  of  the
          rent in excess of the reduced amount, such refund as is  due  the
          tenant, if any, must be so refunded for  the  entire  period  the
          reduction was in effect, or else the tenant may continue  to  pay
          the reduced rent until the total refund has been credited to him.

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

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


                                                ELLIOT SANDER
                                                Deputy Commissioner



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