Tenant Can Vacate Default
LVT Number: 9673
Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent. The court ruled for landlord because tenant didn't show up, and gave landlord a judgment for back rent owed. When landlord served an income execution on tenant's employer, she asked the court to vacate the default and judgment. Tenant had appeared in court four times in response to the case and each time it was adjourned. She missed the fifth court date because she couldn't get time off from work and thought the case would be adjourned again. Tenant had moved out of the apartment but still claimed breach of the warranty of habitability and improper service. The court ruled for tenant and reopened the case. Tenant showed a reasonable excuse for not appearing in court and had substantive defenses to landlord's claim. The fact that she had moved out didn't prevent her from raising defenses to nonpayment.
Wards Construction Co. v. Arda: NYLJ, p. 29, col. 6 (4/5/95) (Civ. Ct. NY; Malatzky, J)