Tenant Agreed to Give Up Coverage
LVT Number: 13509
(Decision submitted by Magda Cruz of the Manhattan law firm of Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman, LLP, attorneys for the landlord.) Facts: Rent-controlled tenant told landlord she wanted to move out. She owed six months' rent. Landlord and tenant, both represented by attorneys, agreed in writing that the tenancy was terminated, that tenant would move out within six months, that she didn't have to pay the back rent, and that landlord would pay her $10,000 when she moved. When tenant didn't comply with the agreement, landlord sued to evict her. The trial and first appeals court ruled against landlord, finding that tenant couldn't give up her rights under rent control. Landlord appealed. Court: Landlord wins. Tenant signed a surrender agreement, with the help of attorneys, that was binding. It didn't matter that this agreement was reached without a court-ordered settlement agreement. There was no indication in this case that landlord acted in bad faith or that there was any overreaching.
Merwest Realty Corp. v. Prager: NYLJ, p. 23, col. 3 (8/9/99) (App. Div.1 Dept.; Sullivan, JP, Nardelli, Wallach, Andrias, Saxe, JJ)