Landlord Doesn't Prove Economic Infeasibility Prevented Correction of Violations
LVT Number: #31624
Tenants in an SRO building and HPD commenced separate HP proceedings against landlord in housing court, seeking correction of various housing violations to restore habitability after a building fire where a vacate order had been issued. The court consolidated the two cases and considered a number of questions raised by the parties after the court issued an order to correct the violations. Landlord questioned whether some of the occupants who joined tenants' case had standing to seek violation corrections. But the court ruled that a "lawful occupant" of housing had standing to obtain relief in an HP proceeding. The court denied tenants' request for temporary access to the building because this was too dangerous. Landlord claimed that it couldn't correct violations due to "economic infeasibility" and said that correction of the building violations would cost $417,000. However, landlord didn't show any proof that the market value of the building after repair would be less than the cost to correct the violations. So landlord didn't prove economic infeasibility. The court held off imposing civil penalties for landlord's delay in correcting violations, in light of mitigating circumstances that included litigation with its insurance carrier. The court gave landlord until Dec. 31, 2021, to correct violations or to seek an extension at that time based on a showing of good cause and diligent efforts to comply with the court's order.
HPD v. Vabre: Index Nos. 2084/2019, 2971/2019, 2021 NY Slip Op 32021(U)(Civ. Ct. Kings; 8/16/21; Stoller, J)