Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for nonpayment of rent. Landlord claimed that tenant owed $14,000 for a 14-month period. The court ruled against landlord after a trial and dismissed the case. Landlord failed to prove what the legal rent was or that there was a valid agreement to pay rent. Landlord even failed to show that there was a landlord-tenant relationship.
Landlord bought the building in July 2007. Tenant never made any rent payments to landlord. The only lease landlord presented at trial was a renewal lease dated Oct. 1, 2007, for a term from Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2009. However, this renewal lease was stamped “Revised” at the top and “Deemed” as of Aug. 25, 2008 on the bottom. Landlord’s signature was undated. And tenant didn’t sign this renewal lease until Feb. 9, 2009, while in court during attempted settlement of the case before trial.
Landlord offered no explanation of how or why the renewal lease was created, deemed, or revised. Therefore, the renewal lease wasn’t valid and was insufficient to prove any landlord-tenant relationship. Landlord also failed to explain how tenant’s rent was increased since the time of a prior nonpayment proceeding.
163 Broadway Associates, LLC v. Orton: 2009 WL 427305 (Civ. Ct. NY; Kraus, J)