Landlord v. Tenant: November 2022




Landlord Fined $375 by FDNY for Not Painting Fire Escape   

The Fire Department issued a violation notice to landlord for failure to maintain a fire escape in good condition. FDNY's inspector described the fire escape as needing scaping and painting of all parts of the fire escape and directed that two coats of paint be used. At a hearing, landlord claimed that the work had been done but that her letter to the FDNY was sent late. The Fire Dept. had certified correction on Nov. 11, 2021, and recommended a mitigated penalty. The ALJ dismissed the violation notice.

FDNY appealed and won. The violation notice established the violation. Fire escapes must be maintained "in a safe and operational condition" and that "all fire escape components shall be painted or otherwise protected from deterioration." The violation notice specified that landlord "failed to maintain fire escape in good working order/clean condition or in compliance with general maintenance/housekeeping requirements." ECB reinstated the mitigated penalty of $375.

  • FDNY v. Plevritis: ECB App. No. 2200563 (7/28/22)



Court Lifts ERAP Stay in Case Involving Licensee Who Paid Rent to Tenant

Landlord sued to evict apartment occupant, claiming that he was either a squatter or licensee. The occupant filed an ERAP application that automatically stayed the proceeding. Landlord asked the court to vacate the ERAP stay.

The court ruled for landlord. The occupant had no rent obligation to landlord and landlord stated that he wasn't seeking rent or use and occupancy from the occupant. If, as occupant claimed, he had paid rent to landlord, that might have legal consequences, but there had been no showing of any obligation by the occupant to pay rent to landlord. And occupant showed no proof that he had paid any rent directly to landlord. 

  • Fernandez v. Jones: Index No. L&T 302903-2022, 2022 NY Slip Op 22267 (Civ. Ct. Bronx; 8/18/22)



Successor Rent-Controlled Tenant Must Pay Hardship Rent Increase

Rent-controlled successor tenant complained of rent overcharge. The monthly rent had been $39.10 per month. Tenant claimed that, after her father, the prior tenant, died, landlord raised the monthly rent to $443.23. Landlord pointed out that the reason for the rent increase was that the DHCR had granted landlord a hardship rent increase.

The DRA ruled against tenant, who appealed and lost. The hardship rent increase order was final because no PAR was filed to appeal it. Tenant argued that she didn't receive a copy of that order. But she would not have had standing to oppose landlord's hardship application. It was filed in 2013, and the prior tenant had answered it. 

  • Lavermicocca: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. KQ220007RT (8/11/22)