Tenants Can't Challenge Landlord's Switch to Card Keys
LVT Number: 17520
Facts: Tenants' association sued landlord based on landlord's proposed replacement of lobby door keys in the building complex with electronic card keys that contained identification photographs. Landlord claimed that the card key system would improve building security in the 2,500-unit complex. Tenants claimed that the change to card keys would be a reduction in required services under rent stabilization and that landlord should first seek permission from the DHCR. They also claimed that it would be an unauthorized change to their rent-stabilized leases. Tenants asked the court to stop landlord from making the change. Tenants also claimed breach of the warranty of habitability and invasion of privacy. Court: Tenants lose. Tenants must raise their service reduction claims before the DHCR before seeking relief in court. Landlord's proposal didn't breach tenants' leases. There also would be no breach of the warranty of habitability due to any inconvenience to tenants by the change in the security system. And there was no claim for invasion of privacy allowed under New York law.
Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants' Assn. v. Metropolitan Life Ins. and Annuity Co.: NYLJ, 7/19/04, p. 19, col. 1 (Sup. Ct. NY; Solomon, J)