Landlord v. Tenant: June 2019
MAJOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
Parking Area Wasn’t Commercial Space for MCI Purposes
Landlord applied for MCI rent hikes based on installation of a new roof, facade and parapet restoration, bulkhead and entrance doors, intercoms, and related architectural fees. The DRA ruled for landlord but set the effective date of the MCI rent hike as Jan. 1, 2013, after finding that this was the first rent payment date after landlord submitted additional required information regarding the building’s commercial space.
Landlord appealed and won. Landlord argued that it submitted all required information concerning the commercial space with its initial application filing. With its application, landlord reported that the building contained 250 square feet of commercial space, all part of a laundry facility. The DRA later requested information regarding use and square footage of a parking area. Landlord advised the DRA that the outdoor parking area was used only by building residents. In response to the DRA’s second request, landlord submitted square footage information for the parking area in December 2012. But it was long-standing DHCR policy that, if a parking area or garage was used only by building residents, it wasn’t considered commercial space for MCI purposes. And the DRA didn’t include the parking area’s square footage in its commercial space allocation for the MCI increase. The information landlord submitted with its initial application was complete, and the effective date of the MCI application was Nov. 1, 2009.
- Unger: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. BO630014RO (1/30/19)
Landlord LLC Can’t Evict Rent-Stabilized Tenant for Owner Occupancy
Rent-stabilized tenant complained that landlord hadn’t renewed his lease since 2000. Landlord claimed that tenant was the building super with a low monthly rent. Landlord had asked tenant to move out because landlord’s immediate family needed the apartment. Landlord also claimed that tenant had refused to sign offered renewal leases. The DRA ruled against tenant. Landlord had sent tenant a nonrenewal notice based on owner occupancy. If landlord didn’t start an eviction proceeding against tenant within 30 days, he should offer tenant a renewal lease.
Tenant appealed and won. Tenant pointed out that landlord was an LLC. The DHCR noted that the eviction notice landlord sent tenant was in the name of the LLC owner entity. Only an individual owner can seek recovery of a rent-stabilized apartment for owner occupancy. So tenant was entitled to a renewal lease.
- Hernandez: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. GR610053RT (3/26/19)
Tenant’s Preferential Rent Rider Limited to Specific Lease Term
Rent-stabilized tenant complained to the DHCR that landlord failed to renew her lease on the same terms and conditions as her prior lease because landlord didn’t offer her a preferential rent upon renewal. The DRA ruled against tenant, finding that tenant’s preferential rent was limited by lease language to particular lease terms and didn’t apply to the entire tenancy. Tenant appealed and lost. Contrary to tenant’s claim, each of tenant’s leases to date contained a preferential rent rider that was specific to the respective lease term and didn’t include language applying a preferential rent to the entire tenancy.
- Kehlet: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. GM210048RT (2/25/19)