Tenant Showed No Colorable Overcharge Claim Warranting Vacatur of 2019 Settlement Agreement
LVT Number: #32650
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for nonpayment of rent in 2019. The parties signed a settlement agreement so-ordered by the court. Several year later, tenant claimed that he had signed the agreement without assistance of an attorney or an interpreter and had unknowingly waived a colorable claim of rent overcharge. Tenant asked the court to vacate the settlement stipulation. He argued that enforcement of the stipulation would impede his ability to rely on protections of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (TSHA) because the stipulation contained a current rent provision.
The court ruled against tenant and scheduled the case for an evidentiary hearing to determine what portion of the outstanding back rent was subject to a TSHA defense and therefore not subject to the stipulation's current rent provisions. Tenant failed to show reliance and failed to adequately plead fraud by the landlord. So tenant made no colorable claim for rent overcharge that required vacating the settlement stipulation.
147-23 N. Assoc. LLC v. Villanueva: Index No. 63863/19, NYLJ No. 1687890785 (Civ. Ct. Queens; 6/21/23; Schiff, J)