Landlord Unlawfully Locked Out Occupant Who Claimed Succession Rights
LVT Number: #31475
Apartment occupant sued landlord, claiming unlawful eviction, and asked to be restored to possession of his apartment. Tenant claimed that landlord changed one of the locks on the apartment entrance door before he returned home from the hospital. Landlord claimed that it didn't change the apartment door lock, which was secured with only a latch. But, under NYC Admin. Code Section 26-521(iii), a landlord can't remove, plug, or otherwise render the lock of the entrance door inoperable. The latch installed by landlord in this case prevented the occupant from re-entering the apartment. Landlord claimed that occupant failed to prove he had a nontraditional family relationship with the apartment tenant. But occupant didn't have to prove his succession claim in the lockout proceeding. He demonstrated his independent possessory right to occupy the apartment without being locked out.
Otero v. Hope Founders HDFC: Index No. 300468/2021, NYLJ No. 1621866767 (Civ. Ct. NY; 3/29/21; Asforis, J)