Landlord v. Tenant: April 2020
PASSING ON APARTMENTS
Rent-Stabilized Tenant’s Daughter Forged Tenant’s Name on Renewal Leases
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant and his daughter. Landlord claimed that tenant left the apartment in 2004 and began living elsewhere, without notifying landlord of the change in circumstances. After tenant left, his daughter admittedly forged tenant’s signature on renewal leases through December 2017, never notified landlord that tenant had left, and paid the rent in tenant’s name. Landlord asked the court to grant it possession without a trial. The court ruled for landlord.
Tenant appealed and lost. Since tenant never lawfully vacated when he moved out, he was considered a tenant until December 2017. And, since he hadn’t lived in the apartment for 10 years before that, tenant couldn’t claim that she and tenant lived together for at least two years before tenant “permanently vacated” the unit. The court acknowledged that the Second Department may view that issue differently than the First Department but was bound by the law of the First Department.
There also was some question as to whether tenant was the father of the woman who claimed to be his daughter. Her Mexican birth certificate, untranslated, appeared to identify an individual other than tenant as her father. And the year of her birth on that document was different from what she stated was her birth year. The daughter’s admission that she forged tenant’s name on renewal leases for 10 years also was an independent ground for rejecting her succession defense.
- West 48th Holdings LLC v. Herrera: Index No. 570519/19, 2020 NY Slip Op 50284(U) (App. T. 1 Dept.; 2/26/20)