Landlord v. Tenant: March 2020
Landlord Not Required to Inspect Smoke Detector
Tenant sued landlord after he was injured during a fire in his apartment. Tenant claimed that landlord failed to provide an operable smoke detector because it didn’t regularly inspect the smoke detector. The court ruled against tenant and dismissed the case.
Tenant appealed and lost. Landlord showed that it provided a functional smoke detector in tenant’s apartment. The obligation to maintain the smoke detector then shifted to tenant. Landlord could be liable only if it placed tenant in a more vulnerable position than he would have been in had landlord done nothing. In this case, there was no proof that tenant relied on landlord’s inspection of his smoke detector to ensure that it worked. Tenant, in fact, testified that he never saw the building super inspect his smoke detector.
- Figueroa v. Parkash: Index No. 10875, 300844/14, 2020 NY Slip Op 00525 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 1/28/20)
RENT STABILIZATION COVERAGE
Vacancy Deregulated Apartment Not Reregulated by HSTPA
Landlord sued to evict tenant, claiming that tenant’s apartment was exempt from rent stabilization due to high-rent vacancy. Tenant claimed that he was rent stabilized.
The court ruled against tenant, who appealed and lost. Proof submitted indicated that the apartment was deregulated in 2011, when the prior rent-stabilized tenant moved out and the legal rent plus statutory increases brought the legal rent above the $2,500 deregulation threshold then in effect. Tenant claimed that the apartment was later reregulated by the Rent Act of 2015. But this was incorrect. That amendment to the rent stabilization law called prospectively for deregulation of apartments that became vacant with a legal rent that was $2,500 or more before vacancy increases were applied.
The court also rejected tenant’s claim that the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) reregulated the apartment. HSTPA repealed vacancy deregulation prospectively only and provided that apartments lawfully deregulated before HSTPA’s June 14, 2019, effective date remained deregulated.
- B.G.R. Realty LLC v. Stein: 66 Misc.3d 135(A), 2020 NY Slip Op 50005(U) (App. T. 1 Dept.; 1/6/20)