Landlord v. Tenant: April 2018
Landlord Can’t Enforce Eviction Warrant After Later Signing Renewal Lease by Mistake
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized and subsidized tenant for entering into at least 15 short-term rentals of her apartment at a rate of $350 per night. Tenant’s monthly rent was $546. Landlord and tenant signed a settlement agreement in court by which landlord received a judgment of possession, and eviction was delayed until Dec. 31, 2016. But on Nov. 21, 2016, landlord sent tenant a renewal lease commencing on April 1, 2017. Tenant signed the renewal lease on Dec. 12, 2016, and returned it to landlord with a request for a two-year renewal. Landlord then countersigned the renewal lease and sent a copy back to tenant. In January 2017, the court vacated the judgment and eviction warrant based on landlord’s ratification of the lease renewal. But landlord asked the court to reconsider, and the court then ruled for landlord, finding that the renewal was an accident and landlord didn’t intend to revive the tenancy.
Tenant appealed and won. When landlord offered a renewal lease to tenant, it was under no legal obligation to do so. Landlord didn’t reserve its rights under the court judgment. Both sides signed the renewal lease, and landlord accepted the additional security deposit. The executed renewal lease was binding. Landlord can’t claim unilateral mistake where the mistake in offering the renewal lease arose from landlord’s own negligence in failing to note the settlement agreement and eviction warrant in its records.
- Related Broadway Development LLC v. Malo: 58 Misc.3d 154(A), 2018 NY Slip Op 50175(U) (App. T. 1 Dept.; 2/14/18)
Landlord Seeks to Recover All Apartments in Building for Owner Occupancy
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for owner occupancy of tenant’s apartment. Tenant asked the court to dismiss the case, claiming that landlord’s lease nonrenewal notice was insufficient. The court ruled for tenant. Landlord appealed, and the case was reopened. Landlord’s nonrenewal notice stated that landlord intended to recover possession of all apartments in the building, in order to convert the five-story, nine-apartment building into a single-family dwelling for herself, her husband, and their two children. The notice set forth in detail the contemplated use of the space on a floor-by-floor basis, reflecting landlord’s plan to create a single, integrated structure that would serve as a primary residence for her and her immediate family. The notice also listed landlord’s current address. The appeals court found that landlord’s notice fully complied with the specificity requirements of Rent Stabilization Code Section 2524.2(b). Additional information, such as the size of landlord’s current residence, the feasibility of landlord’s proposed renovations, and the status of recovery of other apartments in the building could be explored through a bill of particulars and pre-trial questioning. Landlord’s nonrenewal notice didn’t need to set forth landlord’s trial proof.
- Kim v. Hettinger: 2018 NY Slip Op 50257(U), 2018 WL 1057897 (App. T. 1 Dept.; 2/26/18)
Tenant Can’t Prove Nine-Month Absence from Apartment Was for Medical Reasons
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant based on nonprimary residence. The trial court ruled for landlord. Tenant appealed and lost, then appealed to a higher court that again ruled against tenant. The trial court fairly interpreted the evidence when it ruled not credible tenant’s claim that her nine-month absence from the apartment while in Florida during 2010 was for medical reasons.
- Houston Street Management Co. v. LaCroix: 2018 NY Slip Op 01241, 2018 WL 1003539 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 2/22/18)