Vermont House Wasn't Tenant's Primary Residence
LVT Number: #24452
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for nonprimary residence. The trial court and first appeals court ruled for landlord. Tenant appealed again and won. Tenant moved into the studio apartment in 1980. In 2006, landlord refused to renew tenant's lease, claiming that she lived in a Vermont cabin. Tenant had a Vermont driver's license, and her car was registered there. After Sept. 11, 2001, tenant wrote to landlord that she would be staying in Vermont temporarily due to the attacks and wanted to receive her rent bill there. Utility bills for the apartment showed unusually low electrical usage. Credit and debit card statements showed that tenant was in New York City only 45 percent of the time. But tenant had testified that she spent most of her time in the New York apartment and had a full-time job there. She said her utility bills were low because she generally ate take-out food. Other witnesses testified that tenant spent most of her time in New York. The appeals court found that the trial proof showed that tenant used the Vermont house only as a weekend/vacation home and that the case should have been dismissed.
409-411 Sixth Street, LLC v. Mogi: 951 N.Y.S.2d 500, NY Slip Op 06568 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 10/2/12; Mazzarelli, JP, Friedman [dissenting], Catterson [dissenting], Renwick, Freedman, JJ)