Landlord Never Occupied Apartment After Evicting Tenant
LVT Number: 8069
Facts: Landlord and her husband bought a building in 1976, and sought to evict rent-controlled tenant who'd lived there for over 30 years. Landlord and her husband wanted to live in the apartment. The Office of Rent Control (the DHCR's predecessor) had issued a certificate of eviction in 1981, finding that landlord was seeking the apartment in good faith for personal use and occupancy. But landlord's husband died in 1982, and landlord never moved to the apartment. Tenant sued landlord for damages. The trial court ruled for landlord, and tenant appealed. Court: Tenant wins. By law, landlord must move into an apartment within 30 days after evicting tenant for owner occupancy. Unless there's a good reason, landlord must pay damages---even triple damages---for not moving in. Landlord claimed she was less comfortable about moving into the apartment after her husband died. Also, she was afraid of another tenant in the building. But that tenant wasn't rent-regulated, and landlord had renewed his lease. The court found that landlord had no good reason for not moving into the apartment. It ruled that landlord's action didn't warrant triple damages, but ordered a hearing to figure out what damages were owed to tenant.
Maynard v. Greenberg: NYLJ, p. 31, col. 4 (7/12/93) (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Murphy, PJ, Milonas, Wallach, Kassal, JJ)