Rent Stabilized Apartments: Rent Increases Approved.

On May 1, 2012, in Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Today, it was decided that the rent  increases for rent stabilized apartments in New York will be 3% on 1 year leases and 6% on 2 year leases.  These rent increases are down from last year but definitely higher than rumored earlier this month.  The topic has attracted much publicity in the New York area over the past few weeks.  It had been thought that the rent increases would be denied and the current rental rates for this year would freeze for the time being.  Now that the increase has been approved, landlords for Rent Stabilized buildings can begin to prepare for offering their renewal leases with the increased rates.

We will post more about this topic in the next week.  If you are a landlord in a rent stabilized building and need assistance preparing a renewal lease or commencing eviction proceedings, please feel free to call (516) 858-2620 to speak with a Landlord Tenant Attorney!

Landlord not liable for visitor’s injuries

On March 5, 2012, in Landlord-Tenant, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

In the recent case of Brathwaite v. New York City Hous. Auth., 2012 NY Slip Op 1422 – NY: Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2012, the Court ruled that The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was not liable for injuries the plaintiff sustained when he was assaulted inside the apartment of his girlfriend.

The court acknowledges that landlords have a common-law duty to take minimal precautions to protect tenants and their guests from the reasonably foreseeable criminal conduct of third parties. However, the court finds that NYCHA was not the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries.

Here is part of the Court’s reasoning:

Moreover, and contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, both NYCHA and American established their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that any negligence on their part was not a proximate cause of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. The plaintiff claimed that security was inadequate because NYCHA and American failed to repair a broken lock on the entrance to the building. However, the plaintiff testified at his deposition that the two locks on the door to Patsy’s apartment were functioning on the day in question. He further testified that he did not know how Glenn entered the apartment prior to the assault, that he and Patsy may have left the door unlocked when they entered earlier that day, and that Glenn may have had a key in any event. There was no testimony or documentary evidence arising from the investigation of the incident which suggested that Glenn had forcibly entered the apartment, or that he gained access other than through the front door. Thus, even if Glenn entered the building of his own accord because of the inoperative lock, he could not have gained access to the interior of the apartment where the assault occurred unless, as had been done on prior occasions, a family member let him in, furnished him with a key, or left the door unlocked.

As always, The Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you with your Landlord-tenant matters. Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation.

Under certain circumstances, the Rent Stabilization Code allows a landlord to recover a stabilized apartment for personal use.

In a recent case, Nestor v. Britt, 2012 NY Slip Op 22034 – NY: Appellate Term, 1st Dept. 2012, the court stated the following:

We agree, essentially for reasons stated by Civil Court, that petitioner-landlords are barred from maintaining the within owner use holdover proceeding based upon their demonstrated failure to comply with the equivalent housing requirements of Rent Stabilization Code (9 NYCRR) § 2524.4(a)(2). The cited Code section requires a landlord seeking to recover a stabilized apartment for personal use to offer an elderly or disabled tenant “lawfully occupying” the unit “an equivalent or superior housing accommodation at the same or lower regulated rent in a closely proximate area.” As the motion court properly recognized, the landlords’ offer to the elderly tenant of any number of unregulated “market” apartments did not satisfy their statutory obligation to offer tenant “an equivalent or superior housing accommodation at the same or lower regulated rent” (emphasis added) (Code § 2524.4(a)(2); see Rent Stabilization Law [Administrative Code of City of NY] §26-511[c][9][b] [“same or lower stabilized rent”), a requirement which plainly presupposes that the proposed alternative housing unit itself be covered by rent stabilization.

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Eviction Rules are NOT the same everywhere in NY

On June 22, 2011, in Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

There has been an increasingly high volume of calls from landlords who live in one county but have rental properties in another county.  This causes issues where the landlord has one understanding of the eviction procedure for where he lives, but that procedure differs significantly from the procedure in the county in which their rental property is located.  These differences run along a wide variety of topics including whether or not the landlord should be present as the sheriff or marshal executes a warrant of eviction.  Not knowing the rules for the county in which you are planning on litigating in, can lead to penalties that range from fines to jail time.  It is always advisable to speak with an attorney before commencing legal action.  As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns involving evictions in your county at (516) 858-2620!

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