Did Tenant's Apartment Alterations Constituted a Nuisance?
LVT Number: #31555
Four rent-stabilized tenants sued landlord in 2014, seeking to restrain landlord from harassing tenants and from installing a central boiler in the building. Landlord, in turn, claimed that one tenant made building alterations that constituted a nuisance. The tenant was a plumber and had installed a Modine heating unit in his apartment even though the unit was illegal in residential dwellings. Tenant claimed that the heating unit could be removed in 30 minutes with no lasting injury to property. Landlord claimed that removal of the heating unit required significant cost and labor. Tenant also claimed that landlord knew about tenant's heating unit for years and failed to object. Landlord also claimed that tenant made other unsafe alterations in the apartment, such as installation of baseboard heating and adding gas piping. Tenant admitted that he branched off the gas piping to install the Modine heating unit and a gas clothes dryer. Tenant claimed that his alterations were needed to make the apartment habitable and that landlord knew about them. Both sides asked the court to decide the issues without trial. But the court ruled that a trial was needed to determine the facts.
Massuda v. Mazzei: Index No. 157469/2014, 2021 NY Slip Op 50683(U)(Sup. Ct. NY; 7/21/21; Lebovits, J)