Tenant Entitled to Attorney's Fees After Nonprimary Residence Action Dismissed
LVT Number: #33049
Landlord sued in state Supreme Court to eject rent-stabilized tenant based on nonprimary residence. The court granted tenant's request to dismiss the case because landlord had vitiated its termination notice by accepting rent checks after the Jan. 31, 2022, lease termination date and before commencing the eviction action. Tenant then requested attorney's fees. Tenant pointed out that his lease contained an attorney's fees clause that entitled the prevailing party in this proceeding to attorney's fees. Landlord argued that the lease clause didn't apply in this case because the case dismissal wasn't based on the merits of its nonprimary residence claim.
The court disagreed and ruled for tenant. The First Department appeals court had previously ruled that a tenant was entitled to recover fees in a landlord-tenant matter when the ultimate outcome of the action was in his favor, whether or not such outcome was on the merits. As a matter of law, landlord wasn't entitled to commence a new proceeding and the outcome was in tenant's favor.
591 Realty LLC v. Curanaj: Index No. 152711/2022, 2023 NY Slip Op 34261 (Sup. Ct. NY; 12/8/23; Goetz, J)