Tenant's Testimony Wasn't Believable
LVT Number: 16386
Facts: Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for nonprimary residence. Tenant moved into the apartment in 1977. During 2000, she spent most of her time away on work assignments, visiting family in Tennessee, or at her husband's four-bedroom house in New Jersey. Tenant married her husband in 1993. In 1994, tenant listed the New Jersey address as her primary residence on her federal tax return. In 1996, landlord sued tenant for an illegal sublet. The case was discontinued when the subtenant moved out. After that, tenant filed her federal tax returns from the New York address. In 1998, tenant gained custody of two nephews from Tennessee who came to live at her husband's house. She told the court in Tennessee that she would care for the boys and give them the stability they didn't have at home. Yet tenant testified in housing court that she lived at the New York apartment while the boys lived in New Jersey and that she never intended to live with them. She never told this to the Tennessee court. Court: Landlord wins. Tenant's claim that she didn't live in New Jersey with the nephews she sought custody of wasn't believable. And tenant changed the filing address of her tax returns only after landlord brought the illegal sublet case against her.
Zeiss v. Hickman: NYLJ, 2/5/03, p. 18, col. 5 (Civ. Ct. NY; Elsner, J)