Landlord Can Bring Case Despite Prior Agreement
LVT Number: 12232
Facts: Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for nonprimary residence. Tenant was a corporation. Its president claimed he'd lived in the apartment under the corporation's lease for 30 years. Tenant claimed that landlord was barred by a prior agreement from bringing eviction action based on nonprimary residence. Landlord had sued to evict tenant for nonprimary residence in 1995. At that time the case was settled when tenant agreed to a 70 percent rent increase and landlord agreed it wouldn't sue tenant for nonprimary residence. Landlord claimed it never intended to permanently give up its rights by the prior agreement. Tenant asked the court to dismiss the case without a trial. Court: Tenant loses. The prior settlement agreement was against public policy because it permitted tenant's rent-stabilized apartment to be underutilized by tenant, whose interest was financial gain rather than affordable housing. But a trial was required because there was the question whether tenant used the apartment as its president's primary residence.
Park Towers South Co. v. Universal Attraction: NYLJ, p. 28, col. 4 (3/11/98) (Civ. Ct. NY; Mills, J)