Trial Required on Illegal Sublet Claim
LVT Number: 17646
(Decision submitted by Manhattan attorney Adam Leitman Bailey, PC, who represented the landlord.) Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for illegal subletting. Landlord claimed that tenant had moved out of the apartment and was primarily residing in Massachusetts. Landlord asked for permission to conduct pretrial questioning. Tenant asked the court to dismiss the case. Tenant argued that landlord was really claiming nonprimary residence. This was grounds for nonrenewal of tenant's lease, but not for eviction during the lease term. The court ruled for landlord and against tenant. In some cases, courts have refused to consider illegal sublet claims that seem really to be nonprimary residence claims. But that's in cases where the supposed illegal subtenants are tenant's family members. This wasn't the case here. If someone other than tenant or his family member occupies the apartment, there is a presumption of assignment or sublet. Landlord could conduct pretrial questioning of tenant and apartment occupant to find out who occupied the apartment and the nature of the relationship between tenant and the occupant.
Team Assocs. v. Marsland: L&T Index No. 55077/04 (Civ. Ct. NY 9/16/04; Lai, J) [7-pg. doc.]