Successor Had Mother-Son-Like Relationship with Tenant
LVT Number: #22601
Facts: Occupant moved into a rent-controlled apartment in 1998 to live with rent-controlled tenants and their son. Occupant and tenants’ son became gay life partners. Later in 1998, tenants’ son went to jail for four years. Occupant remained in the apartment, took care of tenants, and considered tenant-wife his adopted mother. Tenant-husband died in 2001. Tenant-wife moved permanently to a nursing home in 2003. When tenants’ son returned, occupant continued to live with him in the apartment until tenant’s son was killed in 2009 outside the building. Landlord then sued to evict apartment occupant. Occupant claimed succession rights, based on his nontraditional family relationships with tenants and tenants' late son.
Court: Occupant wins. He proved that he had nontraditional family relationships both with tenant and her son. Tenant’s son clearly had succession rights in 2003, when tenant moved into a nursing home. The son’s jail time between 1998 and 2000 didn’t interrupt the two-year coresidency requirement. Occupant and tenant’s son intermingled their limited finances and depended on each other emotionally and financially. So occupant had succession rights through tenants’ son. Occupant also demonstrated a family-type relationship with tenant’s mother. He spent a lot of time with her in the apartment and took care of her. Rent-control regulations also permitted occupant and tenant’s son to jointly succeed to mother’s tenancy.
Fleishman Realty Corp. v. Garrison: NYLJ, 4/7/10, p. 28, col. 1 (Civ. Ct. Bronx; Madhavan, J)