STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.:
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
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,
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
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,
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