Landlord Must Show Violations Corrected
LVT Number: 12730
Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent. Tenant received a monthly shelter allowance from the DSS, made payable to landlord, for a portion of tenant's rent. Tenant had stopped paying her portion of the rent in 1996 due to serious violations in the building and her apartment. Tenant said she was entitled to withhold rent in this situation under the Spiegel Law. Landlord claimed the Spiegel Law didn't apply because the DSS was still paying its portion of tenant's rent. The court ruled for tenant and dismissed the case. Noting that use of the Spiegel Law defense had increased in general since revision of the rent deposit laws in 1997, the court found that the Spiegel Law still presents a complete defense to a nonpayment proceeding for tenants on welfare until repairs are made.
Crystal Apts. Group v. Hubbard: NYLJ, p. 29, col. 3 (10/7/98) (Civ. Ct. Queens; Brown, J)