Landlord v. Tenant: July 2017
Buyouts of Prior Loft Tenants Permanently Excluded Units from Rent Regulation
The Loft Board found that residential units in a building qualified as interim multiple dwellings (IMDs) under the Loft Law but weren’t subject to rent stabilization upon prior landlord’s purchase of former tenants’ fixtures and rights. Tenants appealed, claiming that the Loft Board’s decision was unreasonable. The court ruled against tenants, who appealed and lost. The Loft Board’s decision was rational and not contrary to law. When former tenants sold their fixtures and rights in the units to prior landlord in 1984 and 1992, the units remained residential and landlord remained subject to all requirements of the Loft Law, except that the units were no longer subject to rent regulation since coverage under Multiple Dwelling Law Article 7-C was the sole basis for regulation. Also, prior landlord’s undisputed buyout of all fixtures, improvements, and protected occupancy rights prior to current tenants’ occupancy permanently excluded those units from ever regaining rent-regulated status.
- Fievet v. NYC Loft Board: 2017 NY Slip Op 03450, 2017 WL 1555747 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 5/2/17)
Landlord Proved Rent-Controlled Tenant Primarily Resided in Wisconsin
Landlord sued to evict rent-controlled tenant for nonprimary residence. The trial court ruled for landlord. Tenant appealed and lost. Evidence showed that tenant wasn’t present in the apartment at all from March 2010 through July 2013 when landlord started the eviction case. In fact, tenant didn’t return to the apartment until pretrial questioning was held in June 2015. After that, she didn’t return to the apartment until the trial started in February 2016. During her extended absence, tenant lived in Wisconsin, where she owned property. Tenant’s driver’s license, federal tax returns, and court filings also listed the Wisconsin property as her address.
- 317 Magnone LLC v. Gumina: 55 Misc.3d 1432(A), 2017 NY Slip Op 50612(U) (App. T. 1 Dept.; 5/8/17)
No Fraud Found in Landlord’s Setting of Pre-Base Date Rent
Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent. Tenant claimed rent overcharge and asked the court for permission to conduct pre-trial questioning. The court ruled against tenant and dismissed the case. The base date rent was the legal rent. Tenant claimed fraud by landlord in setting the apartment’s rent over the years, but a vacancy rent increase collected prior to the four-year look-back period, which tenant now claimed was unauthorized, didn’t show a colorable claim of fraud. Landlord had registered the apartment annually all along, so the information on which tenant’s overcharge claim was based was available when he moved into the apartment in 2010. Tenant didn’t complain of overcharge until more than four years later.
- 23rd Street Owner LLC v. Seeber: 55 Misc.3d 145(A), 2017 NY Slip Op 50672(U) (App. T. 1 Dept.; 5/25/17)