Tenant Can't Vacate Settlement Agreement
LVT Number: #24571
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for nonpayment of rent. Landlord claimed that tenant owed $46,450 in back rent for the period between May 2008 and March 2011. Tenant claimed that the building had no valid Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), so landlord couldn't sue for rent arrears. Tenant also claimed a breach of the warranty of habitability and sought a rent abatement. The court dismissed landlord's claim for rent for any period before Feb. 16, 2011, when landlord obtained a C of O. Landlord and tenant later signed a settlement agreement in court. Landlord agreed to give tenant rent credits totaling $25,000 in full satisfaction of all of tenant's claims, including attorney's fees. Landlord also agreed to give tenant a rent-stabilized lease at a monthly rent of $1,600. Landlord later asked the court to hold tenant in contempt for failing to sign the lease. Tenant then asked the court to vacate the settlement agreement, claiming fraud and duress. The court ruled against tenant. Tenant's claim that he was pressured by the court and counsel to sign the settlement agreement wasn't grounds to vacate the signed stipulation. Tenant also made no claim that the agreement was unconscionable, contrary to public policy, or that he imprudently waived any defenses.
379 East 10th Street, LLC v. Miller: 37 Misc.3d 1227(A), 2012 NY Slip Op 52204(U) (Civ. Ct. NY; 12/3/12; Kraus, J)