Landlord Didn't Show Aggravating Circumstances in Chronic Nonpayment Case
LVT Number: 16096
Facts: Landlord sued to evict tenant for nuisance based on chronic nonpayment of rent. There had been a long-standing dispute between landlord and tenant over access and repair issues. Landlord claimed that the nonpayment rose to the level of nuisance because tenant wouldn't give landlord access to replace windows, had an illegal roommate, broke the toilet, caused a mildew condition in the bathroom, kept a plant on the windowsill, damaged the front door, kept a dog in violation of his lease, illegally installed a washer/dryer, turned off the hot water valve and then complained to HPD, installed a roof antenna without permission, removed smoke detectors, filed complaints on behalf of another tenant, and removed a bathroom door. Court: Landlord loses. Chronic nonpayment isn't considered a nuisance by law unless there are aggravating circumstances. All of the things that landlord claimed were aggravating circumstances were actually breaches of lease obligations that were subject to cure.
Wonforo Assocs. v. Maloof: NYLJ, 8/7/02, p. 20, col. 3 (Civ. Ct. NY; Hagler, J)