Docket No.:  AJ 110127 RT
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                             DOCKET NO.: AJ 110127-RT  
               ALICE M. CASEY,                  D.R.O. DOCKET NO.:
                                                            AE 110005-RP

          On October 6, 1986,  the  above-named  petitioner-tenant  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review  against  an  order  issued  on
          September 4, 1986, by the District Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union 
          Hall Street, Jamaica, New York, concerning housing  accommodations
          known as Apartment 2J, 94-05 222nd  Street,  Queens  Village,  New

          The  issue  in  this  appeal  is   whether   the   District   Rent
          Administrator's order was warranted.

          The applicable section of the law is Section 2523.4  of  the  Rent
          Stabilization Code.

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

          This proceeding was commenced on  May  4,  1984  by  the  tenant's
          filing of  a  decreased  services  complaint  wherein  the  tenant
          complained of mice infestation within the subject apartment.

          In his answer to the tenant's complaint, the  owner  contended  in
          substance that  the  building  superintendent  had  addressed  the
          tenant's mice problem, and that regular professional exterminating 
          service was provided to the subject building.

          On April 20, 1985, the Division of Housing and  Community  Renewal
          (DHCR) sent the tenant a reply form inquiring as  to  whether  the
          owner  had  corrected  the  defective  conditions  listed  in  her
          complaint.  On April 29, 1985 the tenant mailed the reply form  to
          DHCR reiterating her original complaint.  This  tenant  reply  was
          received by DHCR, but unfortunately  was  never  delivered  to  or
          considered by the District Rent Administrator.

          In Order Number CDR 05,853 issued June 25, 1985, the District Rent 
          Administrator terminated the  proceeding  based  on  the  tenant's
          failure to submit a reply to its request of April 20, 1985.
          On July 10, 1985, the tenant filed a petition  for  administrative
          review  against  the  above-mentioned  order  claiming  that   the
          Administrator erred in dismissing her complaint  because  she  did
          submit a reply to the DHCR request of April 20, 1985.

          Docket No.:  AJ 110127 RT

          In Administrative Review Docket Number ART  03952-Q  issued  April
          28, 1986,  the  Commissioner  granted  the  tenant's  petition  by
          remanding the proceeding to the  Rent  Administrator  for  further

          In the remanded proceeding, the owner contended in substance  that
          he was providing all required services in the  subject  apartment;
          much work was done in the subject apartment  in  response  to  the
          tenant's complaint, including  placing  molding,  steel  wool  and
          screening in spots where mice may have been entering the apartment 
          and also dismantling and restoring the bottom of the kitchen  sink
          cabinet; regular exterminating service was provided by an  outside
          contractor who made two special visits to the  subject  apartment;
          the building superintendent  made  eight  visits  to  the  subject
          apartment from April 26, 1986 to June 10, 1986; at the last  visit
          by  the  superintendent  to  the  subject  apartment,  the  tenant
          informed the super that there weren't any indications of vermin in 
          the apartment except that she  could  hear  mice  in  her  bedroom
          walls; and the issue of reduced exterminating  service  was  being
          covered in hearings under Docket Number QCS000151-B.   In  support
          of these contentions, the owner submitted a letter dated March 21, 
          1986 from his exterminating contractor.

          On remand, the tenant contended in substance that her longstanding 
          problem of mice infestation still existed; exterminating  services
          were provided on an  irregular  basis  and  were  limited  to  the
          apartments in the building; DHCR Order Number ZQS5000601-B  issued
          January 13, 1986 confirmed the existence of  mice  infestation  in
          the compactor room of the subject building;  and  five  violations
          were issued by the Office of Code Enforcement for mice infestation 
          in her apartment.  In support of  these  contentions,  the  tenant
          submitted several Administrative Tribunal  decisions  of  the  New
          York City Department of Health involving the subject  building,  a
          violation issued by the New York City Environmental Control Board, 
          and a listing of violations found by the New York City  Department
          of  Housing  Preservation  and  Development  (HPD)  involving  the
          subject premises.

          In Docket Number  AE  110005-RP  issued  September  4,  1986,  the
          District Rent Administrator determined that  his  prior  order  of
          June 25, 1985 should be affirmed.

          In this petition,  the  tenant  contends  in  substance  that  the
          District Rent Administrator's order is  incorrect  and  should  be
          reversed because  the  evidence  she  submitted  in  the  remanded
          proceeding proves that the problem  of  mice  infestation  in  her
          apartment has not been remedied.

          Docket No.:  AJ 110127 RT

          The owner did not submit a response to the tenant's petition.

          On October  2,  1991,  the  Administrative  Review  Unit  of  DHCR
          requested an inspection of the subject  apartment  to  investigate
          the  tenant's  allegation  of  mice   infestation.    A   physical
          inspection of the subject apartment on October 18, 1991  confirmed
          the tenant's claim of mice.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this  petition  should  be

          Section  2523.4  of  the  Rent  Stabilization  Code  provides   in
          pertinent part that a tenant may apply to the DHCR for a reduction 
          of the legal regulated rent to the level in effect  prior  to  the
          most recent guidelines adjustment, and DHCR shall  so  reduce  the
          rent for the period for which it is found that the owner failed to 
          maintain required services.

          A review of the record in the instant  case,  which  included  the
          results  of  a  physical  inspection  conducted  in  the   subject
          apartment and the HPD,  Department  of  Health  and  Environmental
          Control Board violations documented by the tenant in the  remanded
          proceeding along with DHCR Order Number ZQCS000601-B, reveals that 
          the  owner  failed  to  maintain   services.    Accordingly,   the
          Commissioner finds that the District Rent Administrator  erred  by
          failing to reduce the tenant's rent.  The  monthly  rent  for  the
          subject  apartment  is  hereby  retroactively  reduced   effective
          January 1, 1985, the first rent payment date following the date of 
          service on the owner of the tenant's original complaint.  The rent 
          shall be reduced to the level in effect prior  to  the  last  rent
          guideline increase which commenced before January 1, 1985, and the 
          rent  shall  remain  at  that  level  until  an  order  is  issued
          restoring the rent.  The owner is directed to repay to the  tenant
          any excess rent paid by her as  a  result  of  this  order  within
          thirty (30) days of the issuance date of this order.  If the owner 
          fails to make a refund within thirty (30) days of this order,  the
          tenant is authorized to deduct  the  amount  from  future  rent's,
          until the total amount has been refunded.

          This order and opinion is issued without prejudice to the  owner's
          right to file an application for a restoration of rent based on  a
          restoration of services, if the facts so warrant.

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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  granted,
          and that the District Rent Administrator's order be, and the  same
          hereby is revoked.

                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner

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