Tenant Wasn't Corporate Entity
LVT Number: 13561
Facts: Landlord sued to evict tenant that held leases for 16 rent-stabilized apartments in landlord's building. Landlord claimed that tenant wasn't entitled to a renewal lease because it was a corporation and so couldn't be regarded as a primary resident. Tenant was a Catholic Jesuit religious order that had leased the apartments as housing for a community of its priests since 1969. Court: Landlord loses. For many years, in renewal leases and following prior litigation, landlord had treated the smaller Jesuit community as tenant, rather than the corporate religious order. It was the community, rather than the corporate religious order, that was the tenant. Since tenant wasn't a corporation, landlord couldn't evict the priests for nonprimary residence. In addition, the individual priests, who, as community members, lived in the apartments, hadn't changed since landlord and tenant signed a settlement agreement in prior litigation 10 years ago.
220 W. 98 Realty LLC v. New York Province for the Society of Jesus: NYLJ, p. 27, col. 4 (9/2/99) (Civ. Ct. NY; Milin, J)