Retaliatory Eviction

On April 19, 2017, in Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

RETALIATORY EVICTION

In New York, tenants are protected from retaliatory eviction proceedings by RPAPL 223-b.  This statute states in summary that a landlord cannot commence a summary proceeding to evict a tenant in retaliation or response to a tenant exercising it’s rights to file a complaint against the landlord with a government authority.  The statute also goes a bit further and protects a landlord from retaliating against the tenant in other ways than starting a retaliatory eviction proceeding.  Most notably, the statute prohibits a landlord from changing terms of the lease agreement in response to a complaint.

Another major component of this statute is the presumption that it creates.  If the landlord has knowledge of the complaint filed by the tenant prior to initiating the summary proceeding, the landlord is presumed to be commencing a retaliatory eviction proceeding.  The presumption however is only applicable after the tenant disproves certain underlying allegations of the petition; such as nonpayment of rent.

Retaliatory evictions are often commenced in response to the filing of a complaint due to the landlords failure to provide necessary services such as heat or hot water.  It is important to understand whether or not a summary proceeding is warranted under the circumstances or whether the commencement of an action will be considered by the court to be a retaliatory eviction.

Landlord Tenant Attorney

Knowing the law regarding retaliatory eviction proceedings is necessary for every landlord and tenant.  Please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620, where a landlord tenant attorney can speak with you about your case.

Enforcing a Money Judgment

On February 20, 2016, in Landlord-Tenant, Litigation, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Landlords, as well as any civil plaintiffs, are often faced with the realization that there is a significant difference between obtaining a money judgment and actually collecting the judgment from the Tenant or defendant. In order to enforce a judgment, certain information is pertinent. If the means of enforcement will be an income execution, the social security number of the Tenant along with the name and address of the Tenant’s employer will be necessary. If enforcement will hinge upon a property execution, the necessary information will vary depending on the type of property that will be executed. It is worth noting that automobiles differ from other types of tangible property in procedure and cost. In general, proof of the title holder of the property and the location of the property are required for a property execution. Another method of executing a money judgment is through a bank levy. The account of a Tenant can be frozen as long as the Landlord can provide the bank name and address to the Sheriff. The appropriate method of enforcing a money judgment can vary depending on the specific facts of each situation.

If you have a money judgment and are not clear on how to enforce it, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak to an attorney today!

De Facto Rent Stabilization

On January 8, 2016, in Landlord-Tenant, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

iStock_000038610748_MediumJones v. Gumbs, 84034/2015

Four family building with seven residential units

Landlord filed a holdover proceeding to evict tenant whose lease had expired. Tenant claimed the building was a legal four family home, but contained seven residential units which made the building rent stabilized. The landlord claimed that the building currently contained less than six residential units and could not be considered rent stabilized.

The court relied on legal precedent and a DOB violation when it ruled that the building contained six or more units and was therefore rent stabilized. The Court stated that the units did not need to be legal in order to subject the premises to rent stabilization.

Furthermore, and this may be the worst part, the Court stated that even if one or two units were now removed, the building would still be subject to rent stabilization because it contained more than six units when the DOB violation was issued. Thus, the Court found that the tenant should have been offered a rent stabilized lease and ultimately dismissed the landlord’s eviction action.

If you are in a similar situation and need legal assistance, do not hesitate to call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620.

OUCH! Tenant loses rent stabilized apt. over Airbnb rentals!

The court held that the tenant had “engaged in profiteering by renting out the apartment or allowing his children to rent out the apartment, to a series of short-term transient tenants for commercial purposes on Airbnb.” Based on online reviews and other evidence presented, the court found that the apartment had been “listed and rented out to travelers through the Airbnb website.”

The court stated that “[s]uch brazen and commercial exploitation of a rent-stabilized apartment significantly undermines the purpose and integrity of the Rent Stabilization Law and Code and is therefore incurable.” Thus, the landlord was awarded a final judgment of possession.

Bpark v. Durena

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