Tenant's Alterations Justified
LVT Number: 11923
Landlord sued to evict rent-controlled tenant for making unauthorized apartment alterations in violation of the lease. Tenant had replaced kitchen and bathroom appliances and fixtures. The court ruled against landlord and awarded punitive damages. Landlord appealed. The appeals court ruled against landlord, except to revoke the punitive damages award. Tenant proved in court that the original apartment fixtures were in total disrepair and that landlord ignored tenant's repeated requests for repairs. The stove had been broken for two years; the refrigerator compressor had stopped working; the air conditioners didn't work; and unrepaired leaks had damaged the cabinets. None of tenant's repairs or alterations caused permanent or lasting harm to the premises, and all could be removed with little expense or damage.
Mengoni v. Passy: NYLJ, p. 28, col. 3 (11/28/97) (App. T. 1 Dept.; Ostrau, PJ; Parness, Freedman, JJ)