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Appellate Term: Co-Op Renters Get Martin Act Protections

Posted by Mark Smith on October 19, 1999 at 21:10:17:

The Appellate Term, 2nd & 11th Judicial Districts, has agreed with a Brooklyn Housing Court decision which held that a co-op sponsor must renew the lease of a tenant who rents a co-op aparment from the sponsor. Other housing courts have ruled to the contrary.

Unfortunately, for the tenant, the Appellate Term found that the renewal lease offered by the landlord was at market rent, and was not unconscionable. The court ordered the tenant's eviction.

How is a tenant presented with a renewal lease under such circumstances able to challenge the reasonability of the rent without risking eviction?

Here is the New York Law Journal story from its October 20th online edition (Appellate Term decisions are rarely, if ever, found in the online edition):

Co-Op Renters Get Martin Act Protections, But Lease Renewal Was Not Unconscionable

Landlords, the sponsors of a cooperative conversion, commenced a holdover proceeding to recover possession of an apartment rented by tenants after the conversion. The petition alleged that they were not "non-purchasing tenants" within the meaning of the Martin Act. The Housing Court had disagreed and granted tenants summary judgment, saying the petition was fatally defective because it alleged tenants were not "non-purchasing tenants." Landlords now appealed. The court granted summary judgment to the landlords. Although it agreed with the Housing Court's conclusion that tenants were "non-purchasing tenants," it said the misstatement in the petition provided no basis for dismissal. Furthermore, it ruled that the lease renewal offered to the tenants did not contain an unconscionable rent, as it was at market rate for the area.

The full decision can be found at:

or click on the link below

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