Landlord Can't Prove HPD Violation of Illegal Basement Apartment Was for Tenant's Unit
LVT Number: #33025
Landlord sued to evict tenant, claiming that occupancy of the basement apartment was illegal because a prior legal basement apartment had been illegally converted by prior landlord into two units, including tenant's apartment. Both sides admitted that there was an HPD violation that required landlord to legalize the alteration or restore the premises to the prior legal condition. Tenant asked the court to dismiss the case. He said that the petition misstated the apartment's regulatory status and failed to clearly allege that a violation existed for his apartment or to allege any attempts to legalize the unit. Tenant argued that landlord's papers also didn't sufficiently state that it would be unduly burdensome to legalize his apartment.
The court ruled for tenant, finding that landlord didn't show that the HPD violation was issued for tenant's apartment. And landlord had taken over a building where the illegal occupancy was caused by prior landlord with no wrongdoing on tenant's part.
BRX Grounds 1 LLC v. Tejeras: Index No. 300958/2021, 2023 NY Slip Op 51335, NYLJ No. 1703792045 (Civ. Ct. Bronx; 12/8/23; Ibrahim, J)