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Re: Primary Residency

Posted by courtwatcher on August 22, 2001 at 22:25:06:

In Reply to: Re: Additional questions...answer posted by Wes Alwan on August 22, 2001 at 13:03:51:

Sounds like the primary tenant was in the apartment until around July of 2001: "The primary tenant tried to sublet her apartment before leaving and shortly before the expiration of the lease. The landlord denied the sublet, let her leave, waited awhile and filed the cure."
And: "The lease expired on July 1, 2001".
Taken together these facts could pose a problem for the owner / landlord -- as the primary tenant will only have to show that she occupied the apartment for one half the days during the past year (~180 days in residence at the apartment).
If I'm reading your timeline correctly, then perhaps the LL moved too quickly to prove non-primary residency.
Also: The tenant possibly could "cure" the supposed infraction by moving back into the apartment before ~180 days pass -- and then stay in residence for an extended period of time. (Note: the ~180 days do NOT have to be consecutive.)
This mess will cost the primary tenant a few thousand bucks (or more); Courts give owners a lot of leeway in non-primary residency cases (long depositions, in-depth discovery). Not to scare you, but I've seen it where an owner will just keep squeezing and litigating until the tenant throws in the towel. It all comes down to the specifics of the case.
Good luck -- welcome to NYC.

: Thanks for your response--the requested facts follow.

: : this rent controlled or rent stabilized? eg what is the total rent?

: The apartment is rent-controlled at around 700. I and another roommate were charged 585 each. I found the place via a classified ad and its my first NYC rental; I came from out of state and before moving in lived with friends for weeks while looking for a place to live. My name is not on the mailbox or buzzer, but I receive mail there and the landlord is aware of my occupancy: my name is on court documents I was served yesterday. Hence I assume my super knows my name as well--it's clear from court documents that they've done some investigation, probably through the super. I signed no formal sublease or documents with the tenant, and paid by check directly to the tenant. I didn't know anything about New York housing law until I started researching it today, so I could reasonably claim that I was an "innocent victim," although I don't know how I would prove that.

: The primary tenant tried to sublet her apartment before leaving and shortly before the expiration of the lease. The landlord denied the sublet, let her leave, waited awhile and filed the cure. Now he's filing a holdover claiming it is a violation of the lease for her to maintain primary residency elsewhere--from what I understand if she had maintained residency the landlord would been required to renew the lease. Landlord suspects primary tenant has subletted to me without permission though she hasn't. Either way, landlord claims the lease is violated and that he may evict. Primary tenant has retained a lawyer and is confident of her case, and has assured me all along that there is nothing illegal about this situation. Only after seeing actual court documents did I suspect otherwise and begin my research. If I do have succession rights based on an "illusory sublet" I'm very interested.

: Thanks again.

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