Building Doesn't Have Certificate of Occupancy
LVT Number: 12544
Facts: Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent. Tenant claimed the case should be dismissed because the building had no C of O. Landlord claimed that the building was an ''old law'' tenement and that no C of O was required. DOB records indicated that the building was built in 1879 and was a two-family home until 1916. The building was then altered to add stores. Some further alteration applications were made in 1929 and 1930. In 1930 the building was first classified as a multiple dwelling. Additional alterations in 1938 added other apartments. No C of O was ever applied for or given. The court ruled for tenant, and landlord asked the court to reconsider. Court: Landlord loses. Under the Multiple Dwelling Law, any building altered into a multiple dwelling after April 18, 1929, must have a C of O. The law grants an exception if the building had been recorded as an ''old law'' tenement before April 18, 1929. But DOB records showed that the building wasn't recorded as an ''old law'' tenement until 1938. Since landlord didn't get a C of O, the case must be dismissed.
Crystal Realty Co. v. Ribot: NYLJ, p. 27, col. 2 (7/1/98) (Civ. Ct. NY; Smith, J)