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

          APPEAL OF                                    DOCKET NO.:
                    RICHARD ALBERT,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.:


          On December 13, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review (PAR) of an order issued on 
          November 21, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the 
          housing accommodation known as 93-49 222nd Street, Apartment 1-D, 
          Queens Village, New York, wherein the Administrator determined that 
          the owner had failed to maintain certain services, reduced the 
          rent, and directed that the service be restored.

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

          This proceeding was commenced by the filing by the tenant of a 
          complaint of a decrease in services alleging, among other things, 
          vermin infestation.

          An inspection conducted by a Division of Housing and Community 
          Renewal (DHCR) staff inspector on October 3, 1988, disclosed 
          evidence of vermin infestation resulting in the issuance of the 
          order herein appealed.

          In the PAR, the owner states that professional exterminating is 
          available and the tenant, who has her own exterminator, has never 
          availed herself of the service; that the subject of vermin infes- 
          tation was decided in another docket; that the vermin is a tenant-


          caused problem because the tenant has cats; and that the tenant has 
          a history of manufacturing and planting evidence.  In addition, the 
          owner contends that the Agency did not follow established Federal 
          procedures regarding hearing and due process, that this case was 
          initiated by this tenant in violation of a Court stipulation, and 
          that this tenant has harassed the owner in every aspect of building 
          management and has filed duplicate complaints for rent reductions.

          After careful consideration the Commissioner is of the opinion that 
          the petition should be denied.

          The Administrator's order says that there is evidence of vermin 
          infestation.  There has been no finding that extermination service 
          is not being provided or is not made available to tenants desirous 
          of the service.  That this Agency, in another docket, found that 
          extermination service is provided monthly, does not contradict the 
          inspection results in this case.  The Commissioner notes that 
          extermination service, if performed, has been ineffective and such 
          was evident at the time of inspection.

          The Commissioner finds there is no requirement in applicable law 
          which requires that a hearing be conducted before an order of this 
          type can be issued.  Affording an opportunity to present oral 
          testimony at a hearing is discretionary and it was not an abuse of 
          discretion to decline to conduct a hearing where the results of a 
          physical inspection confirmed the tenant's allegation of a failure 
          to maintain services.

          Although the owner contends that, by bringing this proceeding, the 
          tenant has violated a stipulation made in Court, the owner has not 
          offered it in evidence either before the Administrator or by 
          attachment to the petition.

          While Section 2525.5 of the Code gives tenants the right to 
          commence proceedings against an owner based on harassment, no such 
          right is available to owners.  The owner's allegations of tenant 
          harassment may not be entertained herein.  This Order and Opinion, 
          however, is issued without prejudice to the owner's right to pursue 
          an appropriate remedy in an appropriate forum if the facts so 

          Although the owner contends that duplicate complaints have been 
          filed, there is no assertion or proof that more than one rent 
          reduction has been granted by the Administrator for identical 
          service deficiencies.


          As for the cause of the vermin or the allegation of "planted" 
          evidence, the petitioner has offered no evidence on this issue.

          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 Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, 


                                                       LULA M. ANDERSON   
                                                       Deputy Commissioner


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