Tenants in Park Slope Defeat Owner Occupancy Case Because Tenant Turned 62 During the Pendency of the Proceeding
July 9, 2015
In this case, Itkowitz PLLC represented a family in a Rent Stabilized apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The family had lived in this apartment for this apartment for Thirty-Six (36) years. The landlord was refusing to renew the lease and was suing to evict tenant on the grounds that the owner wanted to use the subject apartment as a primary residence for his adult daughter.
Prior to this case, Landlord successfully prosecuted at least three owner’s use proceedings in the subject building. Yet neither Landlord nor any of his family resided in the Building! The apartment was the only Rent Stabilized apartment in the Building, which was old and un-renovated. It has nothing to recommend it above any other apartment in the building, and there were, indeed, other vacant apartments in the building. If the daughter really wanted to live there, she would have long before this case.
We requested depositions of landlord’s whole family and discovery of their electronically stored information, such as emails. Discovery was granted. But before it got underway, the tenant's husband turned 62 years old.
Rent Stabilization Code 2524.4(a)(2) indicates that once a Rent Stabilized tenant establishes that he or she is a senior citizen, the provision allowing a landlord to seek recovery for personal use shall not apply unless the landlord offers to provide, and if requested, provides the tenant an equivalent or superior alternative accommodation. See RSC 2524.4(a)(2); Zunce v. Rodriguez, 241 N.Y.L.J. 76 (March 30, 2009); Croman v. Leighton, 819 N.Y.S.2d 377, 378 (A.T. 1st Dept. 2006); Fildalgo v. Schumm, 203 N.Y.L.J. 112 (June 12, 1990).
Landlord did not want to provide an alternative housing accommodation and settled the case.