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

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.:              
                                                 RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S    
                                                 DOCKET NO.:                 
            ELGHANAYAN-KRAYEM AND ISAAC HAKIM                                
                                                 PREMISES: Apt. 14F,
                                                 279 East 44th Street,
                              PETITIONERS     :  New York, N.Y. 


               The above-named owner filed a timely petition for 
          administrative review of an order issued on October 7, 1991, 
          concerning the housing accommodations relating to the above- 
          described docket number.

               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 petition.  

               The tenant commenced this proceeding on December 26, 1990 by 
          filing a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain 
          numerous services in the subject apartment, namely:

                    (1) The owner reduced personnel, causing delays
                        in repairs and a dirty building;
                    (2) There is roach and mice infestation; and
                    (3) The pipes must be old and rusty because two
                        or three times a week there is black dirty water
                        in the bathroom.

               In an answer filed on January 24, 1991, the owner denied the 
          allegations as set forth in the tenant's complaint.  The owner 
          submitted a copy of a superintendent's statement that "no change in 
          staffing has taken place"; a copy of an affidavit from the 
          exterminating contractor stating that regular services are being 

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FK 410327 RO

          rendered to the building every week but the tenant has never signed 
          up for service; and a December 21, 1988 letter from the plumbing 
          company alleging "no signs of dirty water". 

               Thereafter, a physical inspection of the subject apartment was 
          conducted on September 9, 1991 by a Division staff member who 
          reported "evidence of roach and mice infestation in kitchen sink 
          cabinet" and "evidence of light dark dirty water in bathroom, water 
          not rusty but dirty." 

               Based on this inspection, the Administrator directed the 
          restoration of services and further ordered a reduction of the 
          stabilized rent.

               In this petition, the owner contends in substance that the 
          tenant has either been out or has denied access to the exterminator 
          who comes to the building every Thursday.  The owner submitted 
          copies of the same statements submitted below from the 
          superintendent and the exterminating people indicating that weekly 
          exterminating services are provided.  

               The owner further contends in the petition that on October 22, 
          1991, the water tower servicing the entire building was cleaned; 
          that "the water was tested and found to be fine"; and that "any 
          dirt in the system had to be from the city water supply."  The 
          owner also notes that in another proceeding commenced by the tenant 
          (Docket No. DJ 420323-S), a physical inspection on November 30, 
          1990 revealed "No evidence of dirty rusty water in kitchen and 
          bathroom at time of inspection."

               In answer, the tenant asserts in relevant part that 
          exterminating services were not available for about six weeks, that 
          the tenant chose to treat the problem herself when she found the 
          owner's exterminating services ineffective, that the dirty water 
          problem has existed for over a year and remains uncorrected, and 
          that the cleaning of the water tower occurred after the 
          Administrator's order was issued and did not address the condition 
          within her apartment.

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

               Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code requires DHCR to 
          reduce the legal regulated rent, upon application by the tenant, 
          for the period for which it is found that the owner has failed to 
          maintain required services.  Required services are defined by 
          Section 2520.6(r) as all services provided on the base date or 
          thereafter including repairs and maintenance. 

               When a complaint alleges an infestation condition, it is not 
          sufficient for an owner to establish that regular exterminator 

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FK 410327 RO

          services are provided in order to avoid a rent reduction.  The 
          availability of exterminator services is not determinative of 
          whether there is a failure to provide required services.  A tenant 
          may take advantage of the exterminator services on a regular basis 
          and still have an infestation problem because the services are 
          ineffective.  Or a tenant may have valid reasons for not signing up 
          for the service.

               As with any other allegation of failure to repair, the owner 
          must investigate the specific condition described in the complaint
          and take whatever steps are necessary to correct the defect.  With 
          an infestation problem, the owner must, as an initial step, make  
          special appointments for the exterminator to treat the condition in 
          the subject apartment.

               In the instant case, the owner merely established that 
          regularly scheduled services are provided and that the tenant does 
          not sign up for this service.  The owner does not even allege that 
          appointments were made for the exterminator to go to the tenant's 
          apartment after the complaint was served on the owner.  The 
          purported denial of access is therefore without merit. 

               With regard to the dirty water condition, the owner has also 
          not established that the condition within the tenant's apartment, 
          as complained of by the tenant and confirmed by the inspector, was 
          investigated and cured.  The November 30, 1990 inspection referred 
          to by the owner pre-dates the complaint and is, therefore, 
          irrelevant.  Similarly, the repairs to the water tower postdate the 
          issuance of the Rent Administrator's order and are also irrelevant 
          to whether the order was correct when issued.  In any event, these 
          repairs address the condition of the water supply for the entire 
          building and not the condition within the tenant's apartment which 
          may be unique to that apartment. 

               Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator 
          properly based his determination on the entire record, including 
          the September 9, 1991 physical inspection; and that pursuant to 
          Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, a rent reduction is warranted based 
          on the finding that the owner has failed to maintain required 

               This Order and Opinion is issued without prejudice to the 
          owner's rights as they may pertain to an application to the 
          Division for a restoration of rent based upon the restoration of 

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

               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: FK 410327 RO

          denied, and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby 
          is, affirmed.


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner



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