Rent Stabilization Archives

COLLYERS SYNDROME (EXTREME HOARDING)

Cluttering, hoarding, accumulated "stuff" piled high and wide, a condition referred to as a Collyers syndrome (see E.L. Doctorow, Homer and Langley and reality show Hoarders), is the basis for a nuisance eviction case brought routinely by landlords.

Payment of Attorneys' Fees by the Losing Party in a Landlord-Tenant Case

The general rule in American courts (the so-called "American rule") is that each party to a lawsuit bears his/her own legal expenses. Landlord-tenant litigation is sometimes an exception to that rule. Tenants who would like to know whether they may have to pay the landlord's legal fees, or if the landlord may have to pay the tenant's legal fees, will need to review the lease. In the case of a rent stabilized tenant, the lease the tenant must examine will be the original lease; this is because under rent stabilization, a lease is renewed on the same terms and conditions as the original lease. In the case of a market tenant, the tenant must examine the current lease, or if there is no current lease, the most recent lease. If there has never been any lease, then there is no right to attorneys' fees for either the landlord or the tenant (but see the exceptions discussed below).

Don't Rent Out Your Rent-Stabilized Apartment

Tenants suffering hard economic times have taken to renting their apartments for short term overnight or weekend stays, only to discover-often when it's too late-that renting out some or all of a rent regulated apartment is not permitted under the Rent Stabilization Code. In fact, tenants can face eviction for commercializing and converting their apartments into profit-making hotel enterprises.

Court of Appeals to Hear MCI Case

On January 3, 2012, the New York State Court of Appeals will hear argument in the Terrace Court LLC v. DHCR v. Katel, et. al. case. In that case the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal ("DHCR") ruled that, after a facade MCI, apartments still experiencing leaks were permanently exempt from the MCI rent increase. The Supreme Court and the Appellate Division affirmed, agreeing with the DHCR and the tenants. The landlord is arguing that such exemptions can never be permanent but that landlords should always be given another chance to complete the work long after the MCI application has been filed. I drafted an amicus brief in the case on behalf of the New York State Tenants & Neighbors Coalition and Metropolitan Council on Housing. I argued that if a facade MCI is not completed when the application is filed that not only should tenants whose apartments still experience leaks be permanently exempt but that no tenant should have to pay the MCI rent increase.

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