GA530120RO
                                    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.: 
                                                  GA530120RO
           204 EAST 112TH ST. EQUITIES, LTD.,
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                   PETITIONER     DOCKET NO.:
          ----------------------------------x     FE430170B 



                  ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING, IN PART, PETITION FOR
            ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW, REVOKING IN PART, RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
          RENT REDUCTION ORDER, AND REMANDING, IN PART, THE PROCEEDINGS TO
                    RENT ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION


          The above-named owner filed a timely petition for administrative 
          review (PAR) of an order issued on December 17, 1991, concerning 
          the housing accommodations known as 204 East 112th St., New York, 
          New York, wherein the Rent Administrator determined the tenants' 
          complaint of decreases of building-wide services.

          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 petition.

          The proceedings were begun by the filing of a complaint asserting 
          that the owner had failed to maintain certain services in the 
          subject premises.

          In an answer, the owner denied the allegations set forth in the 
          complaint.  The owner further alleged that all of the tenant 
          signatures on the supplemental signature and affirmation form were 
          either forged, obtained by false pretenses and/or were not the 
          tenants of record on the date the complaint was filed.

          An inspection of the subject premises was conducted by a Division 
          of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) inspector who found that 
          the public halls and stairways were dirty, that the public area 
          wall and ceilings had peeling paint and plaster, and that windows 
          in the public halls had broken window panes.














          GA530120RO



          There is no indication in the record that the Rent Administrator 
          attempted to verify the signatures or determine if the owner's 
          allegations of fraudulent circumstances surrounding the filing of 
          the complaint were, in fact, true.

          The Rent Administrator's order directed restoration of these 
          services and further, ordered a reduction of the stabilization 
          rent.

          In the petition for administrative review, the owner reiterates the 
          claim that the signatures were forged, that several actual 
          signatures were obtained by false pretenses, that several of the 
          forged signatures were not the tenants of record, in that some 
          tenants had vacated before the complaint was filed, and that one 
          had died the year prior to the complaint.

          The owner states that several tenants whose signatures appear to be 
          genuine advised the owner that someone had came around collecting 
          signatures to affix to a petition for permission to clear debris 
          from the adjacent lot, and not for the purpose of filing of a 
          complaint with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal.  Some 
          of the tenants signed statements to that effect.  The named 
          complainant signed a statement denying she had ever filed the 
          complaint or that if she did sign it, her signature was also 
          obtained under false pretenses.

          The complaint had indicated that the tenants were represented by 
          Legal Aid.  In the petition, the owner states that she was advised 
          that Legal Aid was not representing the tenants in this matter, 
          that they knew nothing about it, and that the Legal Aid represent- 
          ative named in the complaint was not an attorney.

          The owner also argues that the complaint was too vague to give 
          notice of the conditions found, and that the fact that extensive 
          problems are caused by drug dealers and vandalism should have been 
          considered.

          The petition was served on the tenants.  Some were returned by the 
          Post Office undelivered.  However, there is no evidence in the 
          record that any tenant answered the petition.

          After a careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that the petition should be granted, in part, as more fully set 
          forth below.












          GA530120RO

          An examination of the record reveals that the owner's observations, 
          that a majority of the signatures, starting with the ninth of 
          thirty-two (32) signatures are signed in the same handwriting, is 
          accurate.   The apartment numbers, in the order listed in the 
          complaint, are:

                         24, 23, 64, 24, 42, 34, 55, 51, 3, 
                         65, 32, 61, 24, 45, 53 and 54.

          As to a number of tenants, the owner asserts that the apartments 21 
          and 51 were vacant at the time of the complaint, that the named 
          signatures of apartments 22, 24, 25, 33, 42, 43, 46, 56, 61 and 64 
          were not the tenants of record at the time of the complaint, that 
          the signature of the tenants for apartments 3, 23, 26, 32, 44, 55, 
          62 and 65 were forged, and that the tenant of apartment 54 was 
          deceased at the time the subject complaint was filed.

          In light of foregoing facts and the additional fact that the 
          owner's claims on appeal were not challenged, the rent reductions 
          granted the enumerated apartments, and the corresponding tenants, 
          are revoked; no further consideration of the complaint is warranted 
          as to them.  Rent arrears may be due the owner from tenants in the 
          above listed apartments as a result of this order.  Any accrued 
          rent arrears due the owner may be paid in equal monthly install- 
          ments at the amount of the monthly rent reduction previously 
          granted, but revoked herein, until the tenant's arrears are 
          eliminated.

          As the remaining tenants, whose signatures appear to be true or 
          where forgery is not obvious, the Commissioner notes that, while 
          some of these tenants signed statements to the effect that their 
          signatures  were obtained under false pretenses, they have not 
          retracted their complaint.  The owner's submissions on appeal are 
          not sufficient to revoke the rent reductions as to them without 
          further consideration.  However, a prospective stay of the rent 
          reduction is warranted in view of the facts and circumstances; the 
          stay of the retroactive refund was automatic upon the filing of the 
          petition.  The apartment numbers for these tenants, in the order 
          listed in the complaint, are: 52, 62, 35, 25, 1, 44, 26 and the 
          apartment number listed for these apparent true signatures which 
          was not legible.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that the conditions cited were 
          sufficient to give the owner notice of the conditions found.  The 
          fact that the drug dealers and vandals in the area cause damage to 





          the subject premises does not abate the owner's responsibility to 
          make proper repairs, nor does it explain all the conditions found 












          GA530120RO

          in the public areas of the building.  The matter must therefore be 
          remanded to the Rent Administrator for further processing of the 
          complaint as to the tenants whose signature appear to be true.  On 
          remand, the tenants who want to assert that they did not knowingly 
          sign the complaint should be afforded the opportunity to withdraw 
          from the proceedings.


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

          ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          granted, in part, that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the 
          same hereby is, revoked and the rents restored to pre-reduction 
          levels, plus lawful increases, as to the enumerated apartments for 
          whom the tenants' signatures were questionable.  Arrears may be due 
          the owner from these tenants as a result.  It is further

          ORDERED, that as to the complaint signatures that appear to be true 
          that they were obtained under false pretenses, the proceedings are 
          remanded to the Rent Administrator to consider the owner's 
          allegation, and to ascertain if revocation of the rent reduction 
          for these tenants is warranted.  As to these tenants, it is further 

          ORDERED, that a prospective stay of the rent reduction is war- 
          ranted, effective the first day of the month following the issuance 
          date of this order, in accordance with the above.


          ISSUED:




                                                                           
                                                JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                Deputy Commissioner
    

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