GE 510056 RT
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK  11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. GE 510056 RT

               Rosa Aquino,                       DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
                                                  DOCKET NO. ZDE 510432-R



          On May 7, 1992 the above-named petitioner filed an appeal against 
          an order issued on April 10, 1992 by the Rent Administrator of the 
          rent office located at 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York 
          concerning the housing accommodations known as 507 West 184th 
          Street, New York, New York, Apt. No. 3, wherein the proceeding was 
          terminated on the basis of an alleged withdrawal by the tenant.

          The proceeding was commenced by the filing by the tenant of a 
          complaint of rent overcharge in May 1989.  The tenant took 
          occupancy pursuant to a lease commencing February 1, 1976 at a 
          monthly rental of $195.00.

          The owner was served with a copy of the tenant's complaint and was 
          requested to submit rent records to prove the lawfulness of the 
          rent being charged.  In response to a Division notice of a penalty 
          of treble damages, the owner in March 1992 wrote that it had, on 
          November 4, 1991, mailed the Division a photocopy of a signed, 
          notarized letter from the tenant withdrawing the complaint.

          The Administrator mailed a photocopy of the owner's submission to 
          the tenant, requesting confirmation of the tenant's withdrawal of 
          the complaint.  Based on the tenant's failure to respond, the 
          Administrator terminated the proceeding as a withdrawal.

          The tenant's petition for administrative review contains an 
          affidavit stating that she neither reads, writes, nor speaks 
          English; that she brought DHCR correspondence to a neighborhood 
          Community Law Office for translation; and that she never signed a 
          statement discontinuing her claim.  The tenant further affirms that 
          the only document that she signed in November 1991 was an agreement 
          to pay $9.00 each month for a replacement for her stove, and that 
          present at that signing was an employee of the owner who translated 

          GE 510056 RT

          the conversation. No notary public was present at this meeting.  
          The tenant further contends that the withdrawal letter submitted by 
          the owner is a fabrication.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this proceeding should be 
          remanded to the Rent Administrator.

          Section 2520.13 of the Rent Stabilization Code provides in 
          pertinent part:

               An agreement by the tenant to waive the benefit of any 
               provision of the Rent Stabilization Law or this Code is 
               void; provided, however, that based upon a negotiated 
               settlement between the parties and with the approval of 
               the DHCR, or a court of competent jurisdiction where a 
               tenant is represented by counsel, a tenant may withdraw, 
               with prejudice, any complaint pending before the DHCR.

          The Commissioner finds that the tenant's purported withdrawal 
          submitted by the owner fails to fulfill the requirements of Section 
          2520.13 of the Rent Stabilization Code.  Such withdrawal 
          constitutes as waiver by the tenant of her rights under the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code and is therefore void.  This proceeding 
          must therefore be remanded to the Administrator for processing de 
          novo.  On remand, additional evidence may be solicited or a hearing 
          may be held, if warranted, regarding the tenant's allegation that 
          the withdrawal letter submitted by the owner is a fabrication.   

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

          ORDERED, that this appeal be and the same hereby is granted to the 
          extent of remanding this proceeding to the Rent Administrator for 
          further processing in accordance with this order and opinion, and 
          that the order of the Rent Administrator be and the same hereby is 


                                             Joseph A. D'Agosta
                                             Acting Deputy Commissioner

          GE 510056 RT



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