Landlord v. Tenant
DOS Violations: Ignorance of Mattress Disposal Requirement No Excuse
DOS issued a violation notice to landlord for improper disposal of bedding. The DOS inspector found a mattress placed out for trash collection that wasn't in a securely sealed bag. Landlord said he didn't know about this requirement. The ALJ ruled against landlord and fined him $100. Landlord appealed and lost. Effective Dec. 3, 2010, 16 RCNY 1-04.1 clearly requires any person disposing of bedding to enclose it in a securely sealed plastic bag. Failure to do so is a violation of Code §16-120. DOS wasn't required to send instructions to landlords on mattress disposal, and ignorance of the law is no excuse.
- Wang: ECB App. No. 1100992 (12/15/11)
Tenant Nuisance: Tenant Created Nuisance by Filing Repeated Complaints
Landlord sued to evict tenant for creating a nuisance. Landlord showed that tenant repeatedly filed complaints against landlord with the DHCR and HPD. Tenant also started an HP proceeding against landlord, which resulted in the placement of violations for conditions in tenant's apartment. Tenant then refused to allow landlord, DHCR, and court personnel access to the apartment to inspect and repair conditions. This conduct continued after landlord started the nuisance holdover. Landlord claimed that no trial was needed and asked the court to rule in its favor based on its documentation of tenant's actions. The court ruled against landlord, who appealed and won. Landlord proved that tenant had created a nuisance, and there was no question of fact that required a trial.
- Pefko Realty LLC v. Nissim: NYLJ, 1/27/12, p. 32, col. 2 (App. T. 2 Dept.)
Passing on Apartments: Landlord Can't Collect Back Rent from Successor Tenant
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant's son after tenant died in 2009. In May 2011, landlord and tenant signed a settlement agreement by which landlord gave the son a renewal lease in his own name as successor tenant. Landlord then sued the son for nonpayment of rent for the period between January 2010 through March 2011. The court dismissed the case. Since the son didn't have a lease in his own name until May 2011, landlord couldn't sue him for rent that was owed for prior periods.
- Strand Hill Associates v. Gassenbauer: Index No. 62713/11, NYLJ No. 1202538402773 (Civ. Ct. Kings; 1/6/12)
Security Deposits: Landlord Must Refund Commingled Security Deposit
Tenant sued landlord for the return of his security deposit and utility deposit after his lease of landlord's home ended. Landlord refused to return the deposits, claiming that tenant breached the lease. The court ruled for tenant. Landlord had commingled the deposits with his own money in violation of General Obligations Law §7-103. Landlord's commingling constituted a conversion and required an immediate return of the deposits. And since landlord violated the GOL, he forfeited any right to avail himself of the security deposit for any reason. Landlord must refund the deposits.
- Band v. Peters: Index No. 115845, NYLJ No. 1202539604306 (Sup. Ct. NY; 1/3/12)