Tenant's Sister Was in Occupancy Since Inception of Tenancy
LVT Number: #24692
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for nonprimary residence. Tenant's sister claimed that, even if tenant no longer primarily resided in the apartment, she had succession rights because she had lived with tenant since the inception of the tenancy. The court ruled for landlord in part, finding that tenant didn't primarily reside in the apartment. But the court found that tenant's sister had succession rights. The sister had moved to New York from Guyana in 1976 and claimed that she moved in with tenant when tenant rented the apartment in 1979. The sister presented copies of her son's 1983 birth certificate, 17 W-2 statements showing that she worked at HSBC Bank between 1990 and 2007, a 2009 driver's license, and Hunter College transcripts from 1979 to 1982. All of these documents listed the apartment as the sister's address. Tenant also testified that the sister had moved into the apartment with her when she first rented it. Since the sister demonstrated that she had lived with tenant since the "inception of the tenancy," it didn't matter when exactly tenant stopped living in the apartment as her primary residence or whether the sister could prove that they lived together in the apartment as their primary residence for two years before tenant permanently vacated. Landlord had argued that the "inception of the tenancy" provision applied only where tenant and a successor family member were in occupancy for less than two years, but the court disagreed with landlord's interpretation of Rent Stabilization Code Section 2523.5(b)(1).
M&B Lincoln Realty Corp. v. Thompson: Index No. 069897/2011, NYLJ No. 1202586448805 (Civ. Ct. Kings; 1/14/13; Ofshtein, J)