Triple Damages Imposed for Rent Overcharge

LVT Number: #30210

Tenant sued landlord for rent overcharge and improper apartment deregulation. The court ruled for tenant, found the apartment was rent stabilized, and awarded tenant triple damages for willful rent overcharge. Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord claimed that there was no willful overcharge. But landlord failed to overcome the presumption of willfulness imposed by the law. Landlord didn't call a witness at trial or present other proof showing that it had no reason to believe that the overcharge was improper.

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Smoke v. Windermere Owners, LLC: Index Nos. 7932-7935 (113051/11, 106532/11), 2019 NY Slip Op 04760 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 6/13/19; Friedman, JP, Sweeny, Kapnick, Kahn, Singh, JJ)