Landlord Claims Tenant Violated Settlement Agreement
LVT Number: 16108
Facts:Tenant's 16-year-old son was arrested on landlord's property on drug charges in 1996. The charges were later dismissed, and the record sealed. Landlord NYCHA advised tenant that it intended to terminate her tenancy based on her son's arrest. Landlord and tenant signed a settlement agreement by which tenant was put on probation, agreed to permit unannounced inspections, and agreed that she could be evicted if her son was found in her apartment. Landlord gave tenant a termination notice a few months later after tenant's son was seen in the apartment. Tenant then asked the state supreme court to prevent landlord from evicting her. Court:Tenant wins. While combating drug use in public housing is important, it can't be done while violating or disregarding tenant's due process rights. NYCHA's settlement agreement was made without any hearing or record. This was unlawful. Also, the penalty of terminating the tenancy was excessive. Tenant's son was living with another relative. Tenant let him sleep over one night so that he could get to a nearby doctor's appointment on time. There were no drugs involved.
Robinson v. Finkel: NYLJ, 9/25/02, p. 18, col. 5 (Sup. Ct. NY; Gans, J)