Housing Part or "HP" actions are great tools for tenants, shareholders and, in some cases, even condo unit owners, to obtain needed repairs in their apartments. This blog is a general introduction to this effective tool. In future blogs, I will address HP actions from the various perspectives of tenants, tenants associations, shareholders and condo unit owners.)
Over the years, I have successfully represented many clients in succession cases. In the past, succession rights cases were straightforward and simple. Generally, a practitioner would look at three (3) factors: (a) first, the date the tenant of record left or vacated the premises; (b) second, whether the person asserting succession rights and the tenant of record had a close traditional or "Braschi1" family relationship; and (c) third, whether the putative successor resided with the tenant of record for at least two years prior to the date the latter left or vacated. Succession was almost guaranteed to a remainder family member who could prove these three factors.
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.
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).