Court Vacates ERAP Stay Granted to Unlawful Subtenant

LVT Number: #32199

Landlord sued to evict tenant for illegally subletting his apartment to an occupant. The case was stayed due to subtenant's filing of an ERAP application. Landlord asked the court to vacate the stay, arguing that the subtenant wasn't a person intended to be protected by the ERAP stay provision. The subtenant had no obligation to pay rent to landlord. Landlord stated that it wouldn't participate in the program or accept any funds paid on behalf of the subtenant.

Landlord sued to evict tenant for illegally subletting his apartment to an occupant. The case was stayed due to subtenant's filing of an ERAP application. Landlord asked the court to vacate the stay, arguing that the subtenant wasn't a person intended to be protected by the ERAP stay provision. The subtenant had no obligation to pay rent to landlord. Landlord stated that it wouldn't participate in the program or accept any funds paid on behalf of the subtenant. The subtenant argued that she had a rent obligation since she was occupying the apartment with tenant's consent.

The court ruled for landlord and vacated the stay. Where a tenancy won't be preserved or, "more to the point," there was no tenancy to reinstate or preserve, maintaining the ERAP stay was "an exercise in futility." Payment, if accepted by landlord, would also forestall landlord from taking lawful rent increases for a year, even while tenant was entirely absent and while subtenant's rent obligation was for less than half of the apartment rent. "Maintaining this stay serves no legitimate purpose other than to delay the proceeding."

Awaly LLC v. Pena: Index No. L&T Index No. 311587-2021, 2022 NY Slip Op 50673(U)(Civ. Ct. Bronx; 7/26/22; Ibrahim, J)