No Eviction Based on Roommate's Antisocial Behavior
LVT Number: 16424
Facts: Rent-stabilized tenant's roommate was involved in three incidents in the building during a five-year period that, according to landlord, required police intervention. In 1995, the roommate had an incident with the building super. In 1997, the roommate went to the apartment of a sight-impaired tenant to complain about noise and threatened him physically. In 2000, the roommate threatened the building doorman with violence and directed profanity and racial slurs at him. Shortly after the last incident, landlord sent tenant a lease termination notice based on nuisance and started an ejectment action based on tenant's permitting the roommate's conduct. Tenant asked the court to dismiss the case without a trial, claiming that three incidents didn't add up to nuisance as a matter of law. The court ruled for tenant, and landlord appealed. Court: Landlord loses. Three isolated incidents of claimed antisocial behavior weren't enough to support a nuisance claim. There had to be well-documented, chronic behavior that affected the health or safety of other tenants to constitute nuisance. Occasional arguments among tenants weren't uncommon and shouldn't result in evictions when there is a shortage of affordable housing.
Domen Holding Co. v. Aranovich: NYLJ, 1/14/03, p. 18, col. 1 (App. Div.1 Dept.; Tom, JP, Mazzarelli, Andrias, Williams, Friedman, JJ)