Tenant Gets Fees for Rent Overcharge Claim
LVT Number: 16900
Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent. Landlord claimed that tenant owed $60,000. Tenant claimed that landlord collected a willful rent overcharge because landlord collected a rent increase it wasn't entitled to. The court ruled for tenant and awarded him triple damages. Tenant owed landlord a total of only $23,000 in back rent. Tenant then asked for an award of $50,000 in attorney's fees. Landlord claimed that this wasn't reasonable. The court ruled for tenant. Tenant's attorney's $175 hourly rate was reasonable, given his experience, ability, and rates charged by other attorneys. The attorney didn't spend excessive time on the case. The cost of the case was, in fact, increased by landlord's failure to comply with pretrial questioning.
W. 58th St. Properties LLC v. Kulbersh: NYLJ, 10/8/03, p. 19, col. 3 (Civ. Ct. NY; Schneider, J)