Landlord Substantially Rehabilitated Vacant, Fire-Burned Building
LVT Number: 8712
(Decision submitted by Brooklyn attorney Harold Poch, who represented the landlord in this case.) Facts: Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent. Tenant claimed she was rent-stabilized. Landlord claimed the building was exempt from stabilization. In 1988, the building was vacant and fire-burned. Only the exterior shell of the building was intact. There was no gas, electricity, or water in the building. There were no floors, windows, boiler, or hot water heater. There was a big hole in the roof. The building was strewn with debris from the fire, and what was left of the former apartments had no kitchens or bathrooms. Prior landlord had substantially rehabilitated the building before tenant moved in. Court: Landlord wins. Landlord showed that the building was substantially rehabilitated at a cost of over $400,000. Prior landlord had created 16 apartments, 4 recreation rooms, and a laundry room. Before the fire, there were only 8 apartments and no additional facilities. All new services such as gas and electric were installed, as well as a boiler, roof, fire escapes, baseboard heating, and ventilation system. As a building substantially rehabilitated after Jan. 1, 1974, the building is exempt from rent stabilization under ETPA.
Thames Corp. v. Veterans Service Corp.: NYLJ, p. 27, col. 5 (3/23/94) (Civ. Ct. Kings; Gische, J)