Did Landlord Reasonably Mitigate Damages After Tenant Broke Lease?
LVT Number: #32914
Landlord sued former tenant for $196,785 in unpaid rent in state Supreme Court. Landlord also sought interest, legal fees, and disbursements. Tenant claimed that landlord failed to mitigate damages. In response, landlord asked the court to dismiss tenant's defense and rule in its favor without trial. The court ruled for landlord in part, refusing to dismiss the defense. But the court found that landlord proved its claim for breach of contract relating to rent and charges due through July 2020, amounting to $77,500. Tenant had broken his lease and moved out without prior notice to landlord. The court pointed out that RPL Section 227-e required landlord to show it took reasonable and customary actions to mitigate damages. Landlord argued that it didn't immediately list tenant's apartment for re-rental because it had current listings for similar apartments in the building and considered it the best strategic approach to wait. Whether landlord's action was reasonable raised a question of fact that required a trial. So the claim for rent owed after tenant moved out could not be summarily decided.
50 W. Dev. LLC v. Azoulay: Index No. 151905/2021, 2023 NY Slip Op 33189, NYLJ No. 169527282 (Sup. Ct. NY; 9/14/23; Saunders, J)