Tenants Forced Out of Apartment by Bedbug Condition
LVT Number: #24627
Former tenant roommates sued landlord in small claims court for return of the security deposit as well as for damage to their property resulting from a bedbug condition in the apartment. The court ruled for tenants, awarding one $1,986 and the other $2,234. Landlord appealed and won, in part. The awards were reduced to $625 for each tenant. There was ample trial evidence to prove that a bedbug condition made the apartment uninhabitable as of May 23, 2010. Tenants were constructively evicted from the apartment as a result and therefore weren't responsible for rent starting June 1, 2010. But tenants weren't entitled to damages for breach of warranty of habitability because they didn't notify landlord of the condition until May 23 and a landlord must be given a reasonable amount of time to correct a condition. There was also no basis to award tenants reimbursement for utility charges that were incurred after May 23.
Ospina v. Aviad: Index No. 1581/11, NYLJ No. 1202586153031 (App. T. 2 Dept.; 1/29/13)