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

          APPEAL OF                                DOCKET NO.:GA410325RT     
          Gus La Rocca,                            RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                   DOCKET NO.:FA430085B      
                                                   SUBJECT PREMISES:
                                                      167 Hester St.
                                                      New York, NY

            The above-named tenant filed a timely petition for administrative 
            review of an order issued on December 23, 1991 concerning the 
            housing accommodations relating to the above-described docket 

            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 petition.

            The tenant commenced this proceeding on January 18, 1991 by filing 
            a complaint asserting that the owner had failed to maintain certain 
            services in the building, which included in relevant part no 
            lighting in the hallways, unsafe propane gas stored in the building 
            vicinity, and rat and roach infestation throughout the building.

            In answer, the owner denied the allegations and otherwise asserted 
            that all services were being provided and maintained. Attached to 
            the answer were photos of well-kept garbage cans, photos of 
            exterminating poison used against infestation, copies of an 
            affidavit from the building cleaner and copies of a receipt from an 
            exterminating company.

            Thereafter, a physical inspection of the subject building was 
            conducted on June 7, 1991 by a DHCR staff member who reported in 
            relevant part no vermin infestation in public areas of the building, 
            no garbage accumulation in the garbage disposal area, and the 
            existence of sufficient lighting in the hallways. The inspector also 
            reported that the public hallways, floors, and steps had debris and 
            were dirty; that the public areas throughout needed mopping and 

            Another inspection was conducted on September 4, 1991. The inspector 
            again confirmed the existence of dirt and debris in the public 
            areas. There was no confirmation of the existence of other defective 
            conditions or any unsafe propane gas stored in the building  

            By an order dated December 23, 1991, the Administrator directed the 
            restoration of services and ordered a reduction of the maximum legal 
            rent as follows:

                 1) Building-wide janitorial services not maintained-   $5.00 
                 2) Superintendent services not maintained-             $3.00

            In this petition, the tenant contends in substance that the order 
            failed to address the tenant's complaint concerning lighting in the 
            hallways, the safety of propane gas stored in the building vicinity 
            and the problem of rat and roach infestation.

            On March 16, 1992, a copy of the petition was mailed to the owner.

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

            Pursuant to Section 2202.16 of the Rent and Eviction Regulations, 
            the Administrator may impose a rent reduction when there has been a 
            decrease in services. The tenant's petition does not establish any 
            basis to modify or revoke the Administrator's determination based on 
            June 7, 1991 and September 4, 1991 inspections which confirmed the 
            existence of dirt and debris in the public areas, not the existence 
            of other defective conditions. Rather, the inspections found no 
            lighting problem in the hallways and no rat and roach infestation in 
            the building.

            The Commissioner notes that the issue of the safety of propane gas 
            stored in the building vicinity is not within the realm of DHCR's 
            expertise, and the Administrator properly did not address the issue.  
            The tenant is advised to seek relief from those New York City 
            agencies having jurisdiciton thereof.

            Accordingly, the order was in all respects proper and is hereby 

            THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent and Eviction Regulations and 
            Operational Bulletin 84-1, it is

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


                                                  JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                  Deputy Commissioner


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