Landlord v. Tenant: November 2017
Tenant Repeatedly Refused Access to Landlord
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant who repeatedly refused access for inspection and performance of repairs. The court ruled for landlord. Tenant appealed and lost. Tenant argued that the housing court didn't give him a post-judgment opportunity to cure as required under Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law Section 753(4). But the appeals court ruled that the housing court exercised proper discretion. Tenant had intentionally and repeatedly refused to grant access to landlord over the course of several years, and had been held in contempt by another court in a related HP proceeding where tenant also refused access.
- 311 Lincoln Place Investor, LLC v. Woldmarian: Docket No. 2014-1610 KC (App. T. 2 Dept.; 8/18/17)
Landlord Can Evict Tenants Who Kept Two Cats in Violation of Lease
Landlord sued to evict tenants for violating the no-pet clause in their lease because they kept two cats without landlord's permission. Tenants claimed that landlord had waived any objection to their pets by waiting more than three months to start the eviction case. But landlord's five witnesses credibly testified that they first discovered the cats when they entered tenants' apartment to make repairs in response to a building violation on May 22, 2016. Landlord sent tenants a notice to cure on June 8, 2016. There was no waiver, and tenants' lease barred them from keeping dogs, cats, or other pets. The trial court ruled for landlord.
- Hope Horizon Realty v. Johnson: 56 Misc.3d 1217(A), 2017 NY Slip Op 51052(U) (City Ct. Mt. Vernon; 8/21/17)
Landlord Can Collect Combined Security Deposit for Apartment Plus Parking
Rent-stabilized tenant complained of rent overcharge based both on his apartment rent and parking fees collected from the date that he moved in. He also said that his apartment was unlawfully deregulated while the building was receiving a 421-a tax abatement, and that his security deposit was too high. The DRA applied the four-year rule to tenant's complaint and found that tenant's 2005 vacancy rent of $1,350 and initial parking fee of $150 couldn't be challenged. There was no rent overcharge, and landlord was entitled to maintain a combined $1,500 security deposit for the apartment plus parking fee rents. The DHCR also pointed out that since tenant hadn't received lease rider notices that his apartment would be subject to deregulation when the building's 421-a benefits ended, he would remain rent-stabilized until the end of his tenancy.
- Craven: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. EW210067RT (6/8/17)
Tenant's Smoking Didn't Create a Nuisance
Landlord sued to evict rent-controlled tenant for creating a nuisance. After a trial, the jury ruled for landlord, but the court granted tenant's request to set aside the jury verdict and dismiss the case. Landlord appealed and lost. While trial court evidence showed that tenant smoked in her apartment, there was no house rule or provision in the lease that prohibited such conduct. There also was no proof that tenant smoked in the building's common areas. As a matter of law, tenant's smoking didn't constitute a nuisance, and the court correctly set aside the jury verdict. And, while there was testimony of arguments between tenant and other residents, these were isolated incidents that didn't rise to the level of nuisance.
- Jovic v. Blue: 56 Misc.3d 136(A), 2017 NY Slip Op 50997(U) (App. T. 2 Dept.; 8/4/17)