Landlord v. Tenant: November 2015
Rent Reduction Denied: No Rent Reduction Where Elevators in Service on Inspection Date
Tenant complained of a reduction in building-wide services. She claimed that there was limited or no elevator service at the building. The DRA ruled against tenant after inspection showed that the two building elevators were working. Tenant appealed and lost. She argued that the elevators had been out of service or in limited service for over five months and that there should be a rent reduction for this period. Tenant filed her complaint on March 24, 2014. The DRA sent tenant’s complaint to landlord on May 14, 2014. So the earliest possible effective rent reduction date would have been June 1, 2014, which was the first rent payment date after landlord received notice of the complaint. The elevators were operational on the July 17, 2014, inspection date. The DRA correctly found no reduction in services based on its inspection.
- Mickens: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. CT210022RT (8/6/15)
Subletting: Landlord Can Evict Rent-Stabilized Tenant After More Than 100 Short-Term Airbnb Rentals
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for profiteering. Landlord claimed that tenant engaged in short-term rentals that she advertised online. Tenant had lived in the three-bedroom apartment since 1995 and previously had roommates, but claimed she now needed temporary roommates to afford her $2,700 monthly rent.
The court ruled for landlord after a trial. Tenant rented rooms to more than 100 guests from all over the world through Airbnb at two-and-a-half times her monthly rent and jeopardized the security of other tenants by giving her guests the access code for the building. Tenant charged guests $215 per night, along with a $76 cleaning fee. The court found that tenant’s “commercial exploitation” threatened the “integrity” of rent stabilization and was unfair to landlord. Tenant claimed that she didn’t illegally sublet the apartment but that the guests were merely roommates. But since they stayed for less than 30 days, they were like hotel guests, not roommates. And it didn’t matter that tenant and one roommate remained in the apartment while guests stayed there or that landlord didn’t send tenant a notice to cure before terminating her tenancy and starting the eviction proceeding.
- 335-7 LLC v. Steele: Index No. 77007/2011, NYLJ No. 1202736933498 (Civ. Ct. NY; 8/6/15)