FH 410086-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     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:   
                                                  FH 410086-RO                
                      GUMLEY HAFT,                RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S      
                                                  DOCKET NO.: 
                                  PETITIONER      FD 410287-S
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW  
                IN PART TO THE EXTENT OF REMANDING PROCEEDING TO RENT       
                                ADMINISTRATOR


          On August 6, 1991, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative  Review  of  an  order  of  the  Rent
          Administrator issued July 2, 1991.  The order  concerned  housing
          accommodations known as  Apartment  24-J  located  at  2  Lincoln
          Square, New  York,  New  York,  wherein  the  Rent  Administrator
          ordered a rent reduction for failure to maintain services.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of evidence in the  record  and
          has carefully considered that  portion  relevant  to  the  issues
          raised by this appeal.

          The tenant commenced this proceeding by  filing  a  statement  of
          Complaint of Decrease in Services on April 1, 1991.   The  tenant
          alleged the following service deficiencies:

                         *    Broken Windows
                         *    No smoke alarm
                         *    No appliances
                         *    Broken Floor
                         *    Defective electrical outlets
                         *    Peeling paint and plaster
                              throughout apartment


                         *    Broken kitchen counters
                         *    Leaking faucets
                         *    Broken bathroom tiles
                         *    Shower not working
                         *    Broken venetian blinds
                         *    Front door in need of repair

          The tenant stated that she had reported these conditions but  the
          owner made no attempt at repairing.







          FH 410086-RO

          The owner was served with a copy of  the  tenant's  complaint  on
          April 17, 1991 and  afforded  twenty-one  (21)  days  to  respond
          thereto.  On May 8, 1991, the owner, through  counsel,  responded
          to the complaint and requested an extension of the time to answer 
          the complaint until June 11, 1991.

          The Administrator ordered a physical inspection of the  premises.
          That inspection took place June 3, 1991, a d  revealed  the  fol-
          lowing:

               1.   Kitchen:      -   No stove and no refrigerator.
               2.   Bathroom:      -   Missing tile soap dish and 
                                        missing towel rack.
               3.   Venetian blinds -   (2) defective.
               4.   Living Room     -   (2) outlets defective - missing
                                        plates - (1) broken.
               5.   Bedroom      -   (2) windows - do not close properly
                                        (gap at bottom sash).
               6.   Kitchen      -   Countertop broken.
               7.   Floors      -   Floors throughout apartment are 
                                        buckled and missing tiles.


          The following services were found to be maintained:

               1.   Apartment      -   No evidence of peeling paint and
                                        plaster.  Paint throughout apart-
                                        ment is satisfactory.
               2.   Bathroom      -   Shower - no evidence of defects.
               3.   Apartment
                    Entrance Door   -   No evidence of any defects.

          On June 11,  1991,  the  owner's  attorney  filed  an  additional
          request for an extension of time to answer  the  complaint  until
          July 11, 1991.  The order here under review was  issued  July  2,
          1991 and ordered an  appropriate  rent  reduction  based  on  the
          inspector's report.


          On appeal, the owner raises three grounds  for  reversal  of  the
          Administrator's order:

               1.   The Rent Administrator failed to afford  the  owner
                    due process of law  by  issuing  the  order  herein
                    during the time period in which the Petitioner  had
                    an extension of time to answer, thus depriving  the
                    Petitioner of  an  opportunity  to  answer  on  the
                    merits prior to the issuance of an order herein.

               2.   The Rent Administrator erred in  his  determination
                    as noted in the petition  because  the  tenant  has
                    consistently  failed  to  afford   the   petitioner
                    access to make all required  repairs  in  order  to
                    gain the un-warranted benefit of rent reduction.

               3.   The Rent Administrator erred as noted  in  the  PAR
                    because the tenant damaged  or  removed  all  items







          FH 410086-RO
               noted as deficient in the order in order to gain  a
                    rent reduction from the Division.

          The owner also request a prospective stay of the  Administrator's
          order pursuant to 9 NYCRR 2529.12.  The tenant did not file a re 
          sponse.

          After careful review of the evidence in the recor ,  the  Commis-
          sioner is of the opinion that this petition should be granted  to
          the extent of remanding the proceeding to the Administrator.

          The Commissioner finds it unnecessary to rule as  to  the  second
          and third grounds put forth above.   With  regard  to  the  first
          ground, i.e. due process denial for issuing the order here  under
          review during the extension of time to answer,  the  Commissioner
          notes that the Division was in receipt of both the June 11,  1991
          and July 11, 199l extension requests.  Accordingly, it was  error
          for the Administrator to issue the order here under review before 
          the owner's time to respond had elapsed.  The Administrator's act 
          constituted a violation of due process.  The  Commissioner  deems
          it necessary to remand this proceeding to  the  Administrator  to
          afford the owner the opportunity to answer the complaint.

          The Commissioner notes the owner's request for a prospective stay 
          pursuant to 9 NYCRR 2529.12.  Due to the serious  nature  of  the
          allegations   in   this   proceeding   as   confirmed   by    the
          inspection(i.e. missing kitchen appliances, and buckling  floors)
          that request is denied.


          The Administrator's order remains in effect until a new order  is
          issued on remand.


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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  granted
          in part, and that this proceeding is  remanded  to  the  Adminis-
          trators for further processing consistent  with  this  Order  and
          Opinion.


          ISSUED:



                                                                           
                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner


                                          
    

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