DOC. NO.: FC 430187-RO
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

         APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. FC 430187-RO
                                 PETITIONER  :   DOCKET NO.: EH 420070-B

                                ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

         On March 18, 1991, the above named petitioner-owner filed a Petition 
         for Administrative Review against an order issued on February 13, 
         1991, by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New 
         York, NY concerning housing accommodations known as 112 West Houston 
         Street, New York, New York, various accommodations.

         Subsequent thereto, the petitioner-owner filed a petition in the 
         Supreme Court pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and 
         Rules requesting that the Court direct the DHCR to expeditiously 
         determine the petitioner's administrative appeal.  The proceeding was 
         remitted to the DHCR for consideration of the administrative appeal.

         The Commissioner has reviewed all of 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 one rent controlled tenant filing a 
         complaint of a decrease in building-wide services alleging, among 
         other things, that there was rat infestation at the subject premises.

         In response, the owner asserted, among other things, that there was no 
         rat infestation problem and that monthly exterminating services are 

         On October 22, 1990 a physical inspection of the subject premises was 
         conducted which revealed, among other things, that there was evidence 
         of rat infestation in the rear yard.

          DOC. NO.: FC 430187-RO

         On October 30, 1990 the owner was advised of the results of the 
         physical inspection and afforded an opportunity to correct the 
         conditions reported.  In response, the owner repeated its earlier 

         On January 15, 1991 a physical inspection of the subject premises was 
         conducted which revealed that there was evidence of rat infestation in 
         the backyard area and that all other reported conditions had been 

         In the order appealed herein, the Rent Administrator determined, based 
         upon the results of the above mentioned physical inspections, that the 
         owner had failed to maintain services and reduced the rents of the ten 
         rent controlled tenants residing in the subject building by $6.00 per 
         month, effective on the first rent payment date following the issue 
         date of the order.

         In this appeal, the owner contends, in substance, that there is not 
         and never was a rat infestation problem in the backyard, that the 
         garbage is kept in the backyard area and one or two rats may appear if 
         it is not picked up by the Sanitation Department for several days but 
         such does not constitute an infestation problem and is not a service 
         reduction and that there was no rat infestation at the time the order 
         was issued.  The owner also contends that the amount of the rent 
         decrease ordered by the Rent Administrator was not determined in 
         accordance with the applicable provisions of the Rent and Eviction 

         In response to the owner's petition one tenant asserted, in substance, 
         that there was evidence of rodent infestation at the subject premises 
         and another tenant asserted  that there was no evidence of rat 

         The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be 

         Section 9 NYCRR 2205.1 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations requires 
         an owner to maintain services.  Section 2202.16 of the Regulations 
         provides, in pertinent part, that if the owner fails to maintain 
         essential services, the Rent Administrator may order a decrease in 
         maximum rent in an amount which the Administrator, in his discretion, 
         may determine.

         The evidence of record, which includes the reports of the physical 
         inspections conducted at the subject premises, reveals that the owner 

          DOC. NO.: FC 430187-RO

         was not maintaining services.  The Commissioner notes that the fact 
         that exterminating services are provided is not sufficient to warrant 
         revocation of a finding of a decrease in services if infestation or 
         evidence thereof still exists.  Accordingly, the Rent Administrator 
         properly reduced the rent of the subject apartment.

         This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the owner's 
         right to file an application for a restoration of rent, if the facts 
         so warrant.

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

         ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and 
         the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.


                                                 JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                 Deputy Commissioner



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