Subtenant Nurses Not Entitled to Renewal Leases
LVT Number: 11334
(Decision submitted by Jeffrey Turkel of the Manhattan law firm of Rosenberg & Estis, P.C., attorneys for the landlord.) Facts: Tenant hospital rented 15 apartments in landlord's building since the 1960s for subletting to nurse employees. The rent stabilization law, as amended in 1983, provided that only prime tenant, not subtenants, were primary residents for purposes of nonprimary residence exemption from rent stabilization, that a sublet required landlord's permission, and that tenants could only sublet an apartment two out of every four years. Tenant hospital sought change in law, which resulted in amendment (Chapter 940) allowing not-for-profit hospital to be deemed tenant and to sublet employee apartments without landlord's consent. Landlord sued, claiming Chapter 940 was unconstitutional and unenforceable, and that tenant hospital wasn't primary resident. Landlord also sought to evict tenant and subtenants. The Court of Appeals ruled for landlord, finding that Chapter 940 was unconstitutional. The Court sent the case back for further action on the eviction cases. On remand, the trial court ruled that although tenant hospital wasn't entitled to a renewal lease, subtenant employees were entitled to renewal leases since they belonged to class of persons identified in lease as intended to benefit therefrom. The trial court ruled that seven remaining individual subtenants could be deemed primary residents under the rent stabilization law and were entitled to renewal leases. Landlord appealed. Court: Landlord wins. The Court of Appeals decision didn't make subtenant nurses primary tenants entitled to renewal leases. The top Court's decision in this case limited a corporation's right to a renewal lease to only those cases where the lease named a specific individual intended as occupant. So tenant hospital had no right to renewal leases. And under the rent stabilization law, subtenants had no right to renewal leases in their own names. Landlord could proceed with evictions.
Manocherian v. Lenox Hill Hospital: NYLJ, p. 25, col. 3 (2/20/97) (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Wallach, JP, Nardelli, Rubin, Williams, Andrias, JJ)