Landlord Waited Too Long to Collect Air-Conditioner Surcharge
LVT Number: 19464
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for the nonpayment of rent. Tenant had paid her base rent, but hadn't paid a monthly air-conditioner surcharge landlord added to the rent in 2005. Tenant claimed that she didn't owe landlord the surcharge. The court ruled for tenant. Tenant testified that she moved into the apartment with her husband in 1993. At that time, they bought three air conditioners for the apartment. Tenant stated that on a number of occasions, as early as 1995, landlord's employees were in the apartment to make repairs and saw the air conditioners. Tenant didn't try to hide the units at any time. Landlord presented no witnesses who said anything to the contrary. The DHCR's Operational Bulletin 84-4 gives landlord the right to collect a surcharge if tenants install air conditioners in their apartments. But the bulletin states that landlord can't collect the surcharge if it doesn't do so within a reasonable time after the installation. Since landlord waited 12 years before trying to collect the surcharge, it waived the right to do so.
Fieldbridge Assoc., LLC v. Stephens: NYLJ, 2/14/07, p. 21, col. 1 (Civ. Ct. Kings; Elsner, J)