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Landlord v. Tenant Compendium 2016

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Vendome Real Estate Media is proud to present the top five cases from 2016 from Landlord v. Tenant.

Cases include:
- Landlord Must Refund Over $800,000 to Tenant
- Co-op Shareholder Tenant gets 100 Percent Rent Abatement for Smoke Infiltration
- And more!

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Landlord v. Tenant Compendium 2016

  1. 1. 2016: Top 5 Cases From 1 vendomerealestatemedia.com Presents... APARTMENT LAW INSIDER TOTAL DECISION SERVICE FOR LANDLORDS, MANAGERS, AND ATTORNEYS NEW YORK Tenant Didn’t Receive Proper J-51 Lease Rider............................2 Landlord Must Refund Over $800,000 to Tenant............................3 Accessibility Ramps Qualify as Major Capital Improvements.............4 Co-op Shareholder Tenant Gets 100 Percent Rent Abatement for Smoke Infiltration......................................5 Landlord Can Evict Tenant Who Conducted Short-Term Rentals Through Airbnb..........................................6
  2. 2. Landlord v. Tenant Top Cases Tenant Didn’t Receive Proper J-51 Lease Rider Landlord asked the DHCR to rule on whether its building was exempt from rent stabilization. Landlord claimed that the building was substantially rehabilitated between 1989 and 1990, and received J-51 tax benefits. Landlord claimed that when the J-51 benefits expired, tenant became deregulated since tenant had received a J-51 lease rider advising him that J-51 and rent stabilization status would expire. The DRA ruled against landlord, who appealed and lost. Tenant wasn’t properly advised of the building’s J-51 status. Tenant’s initial 1999 lease included a Rent Stabilization Rider, and a J-51 Rider that wasn’t initialed or signed by tenant or landlord. Tenant remained rent stabilized. Don tom Realty: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. EP210006RP (6/17/16) 2 vendomerealestatemedia.com
  3. 3. 3 vendomerealestatemedia.com Assisted Housing Management Insider Top StoriesCommercial Lease Law Insider Top StoriesLandlord v. Tenant Top Cases Altschuler v. Jobman 478/480 LLC: 2016 NY Slip Op 00035, 2016 WL 71898 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 1/7/16; Acosta, JP, Andrias, Manzanet-Daniels, Kapnick, JJ) Landlord Must Refund Over $800,000 to Tenant Tenant sued landlord for rent overcharge. The court ruled for tenant and ordered landlord to refund over $875,000, including triple damages. Landlord appealed and lost. The appeals court found that: (1) landlord improperly deregulated the apartment while it was receiving J-51 tax benefits and that tenant was entitled to rent-stabilized status for the duration of his tenancy and to collect any rent overcharge; (2) landlord didn’t provide sufficient information to validate monthly rent increases; and (3) landlord’s collection of unlawful rent overcharges before filing late rent registrations warranted imposing a rent freeze on the apartment. Because tenant showed a colorable claim of fraud, the lower court properly disregarded the rent charged four years prior to the filing of the rent overcharge claim, and properly examined the entire rent history to determine the legality of the base rent. The application of the DHCR’s default formula also was warranted given the unreliability of the rental history since 1995 given landlord’s failure to file a number of annual rent registrations.
  4. 4. 4 vendomerealestatemedia.com Assisted Housing Management Insider Top StoriesCommercial Lease Law Insider Top StoriesLandlord v. Tenant Top Cases Bradley Apts. Co., LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. DO210007RP (6/7/16) Accessibility Ramps Qualify as Major Capital Improvements The DRA granted landlord’s MCI rent increase application for installation of doors, locks, and cylinders, but denied any increase for temporary relocation and reinstallation of mailboxes and accessibility ramp/concrete work installation with all the related work. The DRA noted that landlord failed to provide a list of disabled tenants in the building. Landlord appealed, and the DHCR denied its PAR. Landlord then filed an Article 78 court appeal. The court sent the case back to DHCR for reconsideration. The DHCR then ruled for landlord in part. Landlord again argued that it was forbidden by the fair housing laws to request disability information from tenants, and that the accessibility ramp benefitted all tenants. The DHCR agreed. Previously, the DHCR’s policy was that rent increases for accessibility ramps would be granted only where a disabled tenant made a complaint to landlord or a governmental agency that deals with accessibility issues. But making rent increases for what can be a major installation solely contingent upon tenant complaint was burdensome on both landlords and tenants. Also ramps have become a standard of modern multiple dwelling construction and building rehabilitation. Accessibility ramps also are helpful to a wide range of tenants and visitors, including people wheeling baby strollers or luggage, elderly people with difficulty walking, and people with temporary injuries. Accessibility ramps, both interior and exterior, are now eligible for MCI rent increases.
  5. 5. Assisted Housing Management Insider Top Stories Compendium 5 vendomerealestatemedia.com Assisted Housing Management Insider Top StoriesCommercial Lease Law Insider Top StoriesLandlord v. Tenant Top Cases Co-op Shareholder Tenant Gets 100 Percent Rent Abatement for Smoke Infiltration Co-op shareholder tenant sued co-op corporation for failing to remedy a secondhand smoke condition in her apartment. She claimed that the smoke caused her to suffer tightness in her chest, coughing, headaches, and watery eyes. Landlord asked the court to dismiss the case, but the court refused and found that there were questions of fact requiring a trial. The trial court later ruled for tenant. Tenant and other witnesses credibly testified that significant cigarette smoke permeated and polluted tenant’s apartment, and tenant’s apartment renovations didn’t cause the smoke infiltration. The shareholder of a co-op apartment that couldn’t be safely inhabited was entitled to a 100 percent rent abatement, which the court awarded tenant retroactive to June 2007. Landlord pointed out that tenant didn’t occupy the apartment during that time, but the court found that this didn’t matter. Reinhard v. Connaught Tower Corp.: Index No. 602503/2008, NYLJ No. 102751009993 (Sup. Ct. NY; 1/25/16; Engoron, J)
  6. 6. Assisted Housing Management Insider Top Stories Compendium 6 vendomerealestatemedia.com Assisted Housing Management Insider Top StoriesAssisted Housing Management Insider Top StoriesCommercial Lease Law Insider Top StoriesLandlord v. Tenant Top Cases Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for unlawful subletting of her apartment and profiteering. The court ruled for landlord. Tenant appealed and lost. At trial, landlord showed that tenant: (1) listed the apartment on the Airbnb website at a nightly rate starting at $215 plus other charges; (2) provided linens, towels, WiFi, TV, and housekeeping service; (3) had rented the apartment at least 120 nights in a 14-month period, with groups as large as seven adults staying up to 10 days and paying $375 per night; and (4) had reported Airbnb rental income on tax returns for 2009 and 2010 while deducting apartment expenses against that income. The trial court properly found that tenant’s conduct constituted subletting, profiteering, and commercialization of the premises. This was an incurable violation of the Rent Stabilization Law. 335-7 LLC v. Steele: 53 Misc.3d 150(A), 2016 NY Slip Op 51689(U) (App. T. 1 Dept.; 11/29/16; Schoenfeld, JP, Shulman, Gonzalez, JJ) Landlord Can Evict Tenant Who Conducted Short-Term Rentals Through Airbnb
  7. 7. 7 vendomerealestatemedia.com Assisted Housing Management Insider Top StoriesCommercial Lease Law Insider Top StoriesLandlord v. Tenant Top Cases

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