CL120166RO; ED120302RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                                  JAMAICA, NY 11433



          ------------------------------------x
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE          ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEALS OF                                   DOCKET NOS.:
                                                       CL120166RO
                                                       ED120302RO
                    Richard Albert,
                                                       RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                       DOCKET NO.:
                                                       BL120744S
                                                       DI110072OR
                                                       CL110133OR
                                   PETITIONER
          ------------------------------------x

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On December 8, 1988 and April 18, 1990, the above-named petitioner- 
          owner filed petitions for administrative review of orders issued on 
          November 17, 1988 and March 14, 1990 respectively by the Rent 
          Administrator, concerning the housing accommodation known as 93-45 
          222nd Street, Apartment 3K, Queens Village, New York.  The 
          Administrator determined that the owner had failed to maintain 
          certain required services, reduced the rent, and directed the owner 
          to restore services, and in a separate order, that the owner had 
          failed to restore such services.

          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 appeals.

          This proceeding was commenced by the filing by the tenant of 
          various complaints of decrease in services alleging various 
          conditions.

          An inspection conducted by a DHCR staff inspector on September 29, 
          1988 confirmed some the complained of conditions resulting in the 
          Administrator's order of November 17, 1988 which reduced the rent 
          by $7.00 per month for vermin and exposed wiring in the apartment 
          doorbell.

          Thereafter, the owner made an application to restore rent on the 
          basis that the conditions had been corrected.  An inspection 
          conducted on February 16, 1990 by a DHCR staff inspector disclosed 
          that the conditions had not been corrected resulting in the 
          Administrator's order of March 14, 1990 denying restoration of 












          CL120166RO; ED120302RO

          rent.

          In the PAR filed against the order reducing the rent, the owner 
          contends that the exposed wire condition is too minor to warrant a 
          rent reduction, that the subject of extermination was addressed in 
          hearings conducted in a separate docket, that the Agency did not 
          follow established Federal procedures regarding hearing and due 
          process, that this case was brought by a tenant representative in 
          violation of a court stipulation, and that the tenants have 
          harassed the owner in every aspect of building management and have 
          filed duplicate complaints for rent reductions.

          In the PAR, filed against the orders denying rent restoration, the 
          owner incorporates by reference the contents of the PAR above 
          described, and in addition, requests that the orders denying 
          restoration be rescinded on the basis that the owner has always 
          maintained all required services.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that both petitions should be denied.

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

          The report of inspection dated September 29, 1988, by an employee 
          of the Division who is not a party to the proceeding was properly 
          placed in the record for consideration by the Administrator.  The 
          Commissioner finds that it was proper for the Administrator to rely 
          on the report of inspection in determining the outcome in this 
          case.  The Commissioner also finds that it was reasonable and 
          proper for the Administrator to find, based on the inspection 
          report that there was exposed wiring, that the doorbell had been 
          repaired in an unworkmanlike manner.

          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 tenants' allegation of a failure 
          to maintain services.

          Although the owner alleges that the complaint was prepared by 
          someone other than the tenant, in an attempt to harass the owner, 
          he has offered no evidence to substantiate this allegation and 
          although the owner cites court stipulations and judicial 






          CL120166RO; ED120302RO

          determinations in support of his contention that such preparation 
          of complaints was prohibited activity, the Commissioner notes that 
          the owner has not offered in evidence copies of said stipulations 
          and determinations, 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 
          warrant.

          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.

          The owner's second petition, against the orders which denied rent 
          restoration, is likewise denied.  The owner's assertion that all 
          services are being maintained is belied by the report of the 
          inspection of February 16, 1990 which found that the conditions in 
          the rent reduction order had not been corrected.  The record 
          presented including the results of an on-site inspection supports 
          the Administrator's order and the owner has presented no evidence 
          to warrant reversal of the Administrator's determination.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the City Rent Law and the Rent and 
          Eviction Regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the same hereby are, denied 
          and the Administrator's orders be, and the same hereby are, 
          affirmed.       
            

          ISSUED:


                                                                     
                                             LULA M. ANDERSON
                                             Deputy Commissioner  






    

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