Tenant of Illegal Apartment Gets Relocation Assistance
LVT Number: 18233
Facts: Disabled tenant moved into an illegal basement apartment in landlord's two-family house. Landlord later terminated tenant's month-to-month tenancy and sued to eject tenant. In the meantime, HPD inspected the apartment and ordered tenant to move out because the apartment had no second method of exit and was dangerous to live in. Tenant didn't move out and was later removed from the apartment based on HPD's vacate order. Tenant then applied to HPD for relocation assistance. HPD refused, claiming that tenant wasn't eligible. Tenant then sued HPD. Court: Tenant wins. Under city regulations, a tenant deprived of his permanent residence as a direct result of enforcement of an HPD vacate order is entitled to relocation assistance. Tenant was entitled to temporary shelter and referral to at least three apartments. HPD claimed that an illegal apartment couldn't be considered a permanent residence. The court disagreed. City relocation assistance applied to tenant, who occupied an apartment in a private residence.
Cupidon v. Donovan: NYLJ, 7/21/05, p. 18, col. 1 (Sup. Ct. NY; Edmead, J)