Landlord v. Tenant: January 2016
Fire Department Violations: Landlord Proves Sprinkler System Flow Test Was Timely
The Fire Department issued a violation notice to landlord for failing to arrange for a performance flow test of the building’s residential sprinkler system in the presence of a Fire Department representative. Landlord claimed that the sprinkler system had been tested by the violation date. The Fire Department noted that the building had two sprinkler system accounts and therefore must have two sprinkler systems. Landlord claimed that there was only one sprinkler system. A second flow test report, showing up under the second account, was a second test landlord conducted to correct the violation. The ALJ ruled for landlord and dismissed the $750 violation. The Fire Department appealed and lost because it failed to prove that there were two sprinkler systems at the building.
- Lexington Ave LP: ECB App. No. 1500955 (11/19/15)
Landlord’s Negligence: Slope in Floor Was De Minimis Condition
Tenant sued landlord for negligence, claiming that he fell in his apartment because of the sloping condition of the hallway floor, which caused his desk chair to roll. The court granted landlord’s request to dismiss the case. Tenant appealed and lost. Landlord showed that the slope of the apartment floor was a trivial defect, not a trap or dangerous condition. The condition wasn’t dangerous and wasn’t the cause of tenant’s accident.
- DaSilva v. KS Realty, LP: 2015 NY Slip Op 08079, 2015 WL 6739936 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 11/5/15)
Rent Increase Denied: Rent Hike for Painting of Rent-Controlled Apartment Limited
Landlord appealed the DHCR’s decision that a rent increase resulting from landlord’s first-time painting of tenant’s rent-controlled apartment should be based on the highest estimate submitted by tenant rather than on the invoice submitted by landlord. The court ruled against landlord, who appealed and lost. Tenant estimated that the paint job should cost $2,940 while landlord claimed it actually cost $13,750. The DHCR’s decision was rational. Landlord didn’t provide an itemized invoice for the claimed cost but only a handwritten notation of a cash payment. And, if approved, landlord’s claimed cost would increase tenant’s rent by 130 percent.
- Second And Third Avenue LLC v. DHCR: 2015 NY Slip Op 08087, 2015 WL 6873337 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 11/10/15)
Tenant Nuisances: Tenant Broke into Storage Room and Threatened Building Staff
Landlord, a supportive housing facility for formerly homeless military veterans, sued to evict tenant for breach of lease and nuisance. The trial court ruled for landlord, who proved that tenant intentionally smashed a hole in the wall between his unit and landlord’s locked storage room, stole furniture and tenant files from the storage room, and made potentially threatening remarks to landlord’s employees as he was being arrested at the building. The court found that tenant’s conduct violated the lease provisions forbidding criminal activity and damage to the building. The court also stayed eviction for a one-year probationary period with a long list of conditions. Landlord appealed the one-year probationary stay and won. Tenant wasn’t entitled to an opportunity to cure the breaches of the lease proved in court since this conduct was manifestly objectionable and substantially interfered with the comfort and safety of building staff and other tenants receiving support services.
- Volunteers of America—Greater New York, Inc. v. Carr: 49 Misc.3d 140(A), 2015 NY Slip Op 51589(U) (App. T. 1 Dept.; 11/4/15)