Tenant Can Assert Overcharge Defense to Landlord's Rent Claim
LVT Number: 18582
Landlord sued to evict rent-controlled tenant for nonpayment of rent. Tenant claimed that landlord had collected a rent overcharge. She had been withholding rent since 2001, when the DHCR ruled that tenant overpaid for the years 1994 through 2000. Landlord argued that tenant's overcharge defense was limited to the two-year period before it was asserted. The court ruled against landlord. Landlord appealed and lost. This overcharge defense arose from the DHCR order that tenant was enforcing through withholding rent. Tenant wasn't barred from asserting a rent overcharge under the circumstances.
Nagel v. Harte: NYLJ, 12/13/05, p. 24, col. 1 (App. T. 1 Dept.; McCooe, JP, Gangel-Jacob, Schoenfeld, JJ)