Landlord Harassed Elderly Tenant
LVT Number: 11207
Elderly rent-stabilized tenant, who lived above landlord, complained that landlord was harassing her. After a hearing, the DHCR ruled for tenant and imposed penalties totaling $8,000. Landlord appealed, claiming that the DHCR's findings weren't supported by ``substantial evidence.'' The court ruled against landlord. Since DHCR wasn't required to grant landlord a hearing, the issue wasn't whether there was substantial evidence but whether the DHCR's decision had a rational basis. The court found that it did. Tenant was 75 and had lived in the apartment since 1951. Landlord moved in below her in 1985. Landlord told tenant she was a squatter; put a new lock on the door and refused to give her a key; left her without heat or a functioning stove and refrigerator; and didn't repair a roof leak. The DHCR's decision was reasonable, given the law and the facts.
Dhiman v. Roldan: NYLJ, p. 29, col. 4 (1/6/97) (Sup. Ct. Queens; Milano, J)