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Cases of Interest2018-07-11T00:27:10+00:00

CASES OF INTEREST

Bankruptcy:
Dulac v. Dabrowski:   A discharge in bankruptcy is not equivalent to payment.  As such, if a tenant remains in possession of the landlord’s premises after bankruptcy discharge, a landlord may commence a nonpayment proceeding for all sums due, including rental arrears accruing prior to the bankruptcy filing and discharge.

Cooperatives:
40 West 67th Street Corporation v. Pullman Client Summary Letter & Decision: The Court of Appeals found that the Business judgment rule required the court to defer to the cooperative board’s determination to terminate shareholder-tenant’s lease for breach of lease provision requiring that shareholders not engage in “objectionable conduct.”

Hugh Grant Gardens HDFC v. Rodriguez, as Executrix of the estate of Rodriguez   The Landlord sought to recover possession of the subject apartment based upon the subletting of the apartment without the board’s consent in violation of the proprietary lease.  The court held that landlord’s prior denial of the request to sublet was proper as the subtenant was not financially responsible and therefore landlord was entitled to a judgment of possession.

Default Judgments:
Sella Porperties v. DeLeon:   The Appellate Term held that while a petition verified by an attorney is sufficient to satisfy RPAPL §741, the entry of a default judgment must be supported by a petition or affidavit sworn to on personal knowledge that the rent contained in the petition remains due.

Defenses to Nonpayment Proceedings:
In re Notre Dame Leasing, L.L.C. v. Rosario  Social Services Law §143-b(5)(a) (the “Spiegel Law”), permits a public welfare official to withhold funds to a landlord, where the welfare agency has been informed by a citing agency, that a building contains violations which are dangerous, hazardous or detrimental to life or health.  It does not however, create a private defense, where tenant’s may withhold their payment of the rent.

Chelsea 19 Associates v. James   Appellate Division held that the housing court erred by vacating a judgment and warrant entered on default when the tenant failed to comply with the terms of a stipulation.  As tenant failed to show both an excusable default and meritorious defense, his loss of possession is not a forfeiture but merely the contracted-for consequence of his noncompliance.

In the Matter of Grimm v. DHCR and Cintron v. Caolgero Client Summary Letter & Decisions: The Court of Appeals, in these two decisions, found that a credible allegation of fraud is a sufficient basis for the DHCR to pierce the four year statute of limitations in an overcharge claim to determine if fraud had been committed and to set the rent accordingly.

NYC Administrative Code §27-2018.1 Bedbug Notification Requires owners or lessors to provide bedbug infestation history for the previous year to any lessee of real property within NYC before the lease of such property.  Upon proper written complaint to DHCR, the owner will be ordered to provide the notice.

Legal Fees:
Kura L.L.C. v. Praschnik-Buchman   The lower court’s denial of landlord’s request for legal fees was improper and reversed.   The landlord was the prevailing party, where the abatement awarded was minimal and constituted only slightly more than 1% of the rent outstanding.  As the prevailing party and in an action where the lease provided for legal fees, the landlord was entitled to collect same.

Luxury Decontrol:
Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties   Client Summary Letter & Decision: The Court of Appeals ruled that the owners of the properties were not entitled to take advantage of the luxury decontrol provisions of the Rent Stabilization Law while simultaneously receiving tax incentive benefits under the City of New York’s J-51 program.

Renewal Leases:
Sampson Management v. Hubert In finding that a tenant is not bound by the remaining term of the deemed lease after they vacate, the court reversed the judgment in favor of the landlord and remitted the case for a trial on whether an implied agreement had been created by the parties actions. The Appellate Division affirmed the Term’s decision.

In the Matter of Casado v. Markus Client Summary Letter & Decision: The court held that the Rent Guidelines Board may not impose a separate rent increase for a class of accommodation, not recognized by the City Council and granted the motion to vacate the portion of the Rent Guidelines Board Order No. 40 (and ultimately No. 41) regarding the minimum dollar increase. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Appellate court’s reversal of the initial decision holding that the rent guidelines board may impose the separate rent increases.

Succession Claims:
Third Lenox Terrace Associates v. Edwards, the court determined that the relevant period for claiming succession is the two year period prior to the expiration of the last renewal lease regardless of when the tenant vacated the apartment if the tenant continued to execute renewal lease(s) and pay rent after having vacated.

Stipulations:
LaFrance Leasing L.P. v. Shepherd  Where a stipulation of settlement does not condition the payment of rent upon the completion of repairs, a landlord is not required to prove completion in a motion seeking its remedy upon tenant’s default in the payment of the stipulated sums.