Landlord v. Tenant: February 2016
DOS Violations: Religious Holiday Observance Doesn't Excuse Placing Trash Cans Out Too Early
DOS issued a violation notice to landlord for placing trash cans out too early for the following day’s collection. Landlord opposed the violation, but the ALJ fined him $100. Landlord appealed and lost. The violation stated that the cans were on the curb one hour and 27 minutes before the proper time, which was 12 hours before pickup. Landlord claimed for the first time on appeal that observance of a religious holiday prevented him from placing the cans out at the proper time. He also said he was never warned that this was a violation. ECB ruled against landlord. ECB can’t consider new arguments on appeal. And, even if it did, observance of a religious holiday doesn’t excuse a landlord from complying with Sanitation Code Section 16-120(c) concerning time for placing receptacles out for collection. It also was no defense that landlord was never warned about this by DOS.
- Loverdi: ECB App. No. 1501153 (12/17/15)
Heat & Hot Water: Rent Restored for Hot Water Temperature at 100 Degrees Fahrenheit
Rent-stabilized tenant complained of inadequate hot water in his apartment. The DRA ruled for tenant and reduced his rent after inspection showed that the water temperature fluctuated. Landlord later sought rent restoration based on the restoration of hot water service. The DRA ruled for landlord after inspection showed that water temperature at the faucets in the bath tub, bathroom sink, and kitchen sink registered consistently at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Tenant appealed and lost. Tenant claimed that the hot water temperature fluctuated between 135 and 140 degrees. But this was inconsistent with the DHCR’s inspection report. And tenant hadn’t filed any complaint with HPD.
- Nieders: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. DO110015RT (11/6/15)
MCIs: Engineering Service Cost Disallowed
Landlord applied for MCI rent hikes based on pointing and waterproofing, new roof, parapets, bulkhead, scaffolding, and engineering services. The DRA ruled for landlord in part but disallowed the cost of the south parapet wall, portions of the pointing and waterproofing costs, and engineering service costs. Landlord appealed and won, in part. The pointing and waterproofing costs had been disallowed in error and were reinstated. But the engineering services weren’t necessary or customary for new roof and parapet installations, and the work wasn’t exceptionally complex. That cost was properly disallowed.
- R 18 North Moore LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. XK430006RO (11/20/15)
Subletting: Claim That Tenant Illegally Sublet Apartment Was Too Vague
Landlord sued to evict Section 8 tenant for illegal sublet or assignment of her apartment to “John Doe” or “Jane Doe.” Tenant claimed that landlord’s notice to cure and termination notice were defective and asked the court to dismiss the case. The court ruled for tenant. The notices stated that the 84-year-old tenant hadn’t been seen at the building for an extended period of time and that various people were seen coming and going from the apartment. This was vague and insufficient. Tenant said that she was visited at the apartment by her seven children, 18 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. Landlord’s notices failed to set forth a single specific factual claim. The case was dismissed.
- 2647 Sedgwick LLC v. Cruz: Index No. L&T 36978/15, NYLJ No. 1202745899577 (Civ. Ct. Bronx; 12/15/15)