HPD Lien for Costs of Relocating Tenants Vacated
LVT Number: 16242
Facts:HPD filed a $33,000 lien against landlord's building. The lien was to secure reimbursement of expenses paid by HPD to provide relocation services to former tenants of basement apartments in landlord's building. These were primarily hotel expenses. HPD had issued a vacate order based on findings of health and safety violations at the building. Landlord asked the court to vacate and cancel HPD's lien against the building. Landlord claimed that tenants moved out in response to nonpayment cases landlord brought against them at least a month before the vacate order was issued. Landlord also argued that the lien was invalid because city law doesn't include rent in the relocation expenses that may be recovered by HPD. And even if the law did provide for it, HPD didn't show adequate proof of claimed expenses, and the expenses claimed were unreasonable. The court ruled against landlord, and landlord appealed. Court:Landlord wins. HPD didn't prove that tenants vacated as a result of landlord's failure to maintain the building. There was no proof that any of the tenants were notified of HPD's vacate order. So HPD's lien was invalid and was vacated.
Toolsee v. HPD: NYLJ, 11/18/02, p. 19, col. 5 (App. Div.1 Dept.; Nardelli, JP, Mazzarelli, Rosenberger, Lerner, Marlow, JJ)