On November 21, 2012, a Civil Court Judge in Brooklyn issued a ruling in favor of the tenants in Chun v. Raywood. At issue in the case was whether a duplex apartment in a brownstone, renting for over $2,500 per month, was subject to rent stabilization. The Court determined that the apartment was rent stabilized because: (1) the building had seven units until the 1980’s, when it was converted to a four-unit building, and (2) the apartment was owner-occupied for several years before being rented to the tenants. Generally a building must have a minimum of six units for the apartments to be rent stabilized, but the rule is that when the number of units was above six on the effective date of the law, a reduction in the number of units does not affect their stabilized status. Also, the practice of “high rent/vacancy deregulation” does not apply to an apartment that was owner-occupied immediately before it is rented to a new tenant. The Court’s decision was published in the New York Law Journal.
Ronald S. Languedoc