February 10, 2017
footage showed that one of the railroad apartments had four different young men
coming in and out of different doors.
The young men would change frequently, coming and going with suitcases
and back packs. An inspection of the
apartment revealed that the apartment had been altered into four separate
rooms, with locks on the doors. This
apartment had been changed into an illegal hotel.
usual discussion ensued with the landlord, about whether the illegal
alterations or the short-term illegal sublets would be the more fruitful
case. I am not going into it here,
because I have written so much about these topics elsewhere, but both cases present challenges.
and strangely, however, the Rent Stabilized lease was in the name of a
corporation! I looked up the corporation
online and found their website, in a non-English language. Thanks to Google Translate I was able to see
that this was a company that placed young foreign people into these rooms, like
a hostile. Of course, this is completely illegal. But we did not need to
get in to any of that.
position was that, because the tenant was a corporation, and a corporation cannot be a Rent Stabilized tenant (but for a very few circumstances and
this was NOT one of those exceptions), that this was not a Rent Stabilized
tenancy. I simply served the corporation
with a thirty-day notice of termination and I wrote them a letter, saying the
game was over. The corporation was quite
nice about it actually, and surrendered at the end of the month, leaving no
tenants behind and the place was broom clean.
I offered to advise this company on how they could tweak their business model
somewhat, and do what they do with placing the foreign students legally. I
advise other companies on the topic of co-living.
What’s the Lesson?
The lesson here is that a good lawyer looks for the path of least
resistance to the goal. Not everything
is a big litigation.
Labels: Hostile, Rent Stabilization, Residential Landlord and Tenant, Short-Term Leasing