Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Uses Innovative Lawyering to Win Trial, Thereby Saving Tenant’s Large Tribeca Loft
When the tenant – a Manhattan real estate broker – was served with a notice of petition and holdover petition seeking her eviction from her large Tribeca loft by her roommate because she allegedly illegally sublet her unit through Airbnb, she hired Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to represent her.
The client originally entered into an oral month-to-month lease for her large Tribeca loft with her roommate’s mother, who represented to the client that she was the original tenant of record of the space. Critically, pursuant to the oral lease, there were no restrictions against subletting and therefore, the only covenant implied in the lease on the part of the client was to pay the rent reserved, which she did. Accordingly, whenever the client traveled for business, she sublet her unit to other individuals through Airbnb. Further, all of the negotiations with regard to the oral lease were between the client and the roommate’s mother, and all of the client’s rental payments for the premises were tendered directly to the roommate’s mother. However, at all relevant times during the client’s tenancy, the roommate’s mother never resided in the subject unit.
In performing its exhaustive due diligence, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. discovered that the client’s roommate’s mother had entered into a stipulation with the landlord/owner of the subject premises, which conclusively established that the roommate’s mother was the actual tenant of record, and not the roommate. Therefore, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. set forth several affirmative defenses seeking dismissal of the notice of petition and petition on technical grounds since the roommate’s mother had clearly abandoned the unit.
During the trial, the roommate attempted to argue that she became the tenant of record through succession having continuously resided in the unit for the relevant statutory two-year period after her mother left the apartment and moved to a house in Pennsylvania. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., on behalf of the client, caused trial subpoenas to be served upon the roommate and her mother which demanded their trial testimony and elicited specific documents to negate the roommate’s succession claim and to support the client’s technical defenses. Simultaneously, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. made a motion to quash subpoenas that were issued to Airbnb and to the client which sought the production of the client’s PayPal records, Airbnb records, state and federal tax returns, receipts and/or other evidence showing the amounts the client was paid for subletting the premises, and communications that she had related to such subletting. In successfully quashing the subpoenas, the court agreed with Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s arguments that the documents sought by the roommate had absolutely no relevant purpose other than to harass the client in light of the fact that the client had the unfettered ability to sublet her unit per the oral lease.
At the trial, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. argued that the documents that were produced by the roommate and her mother in response to the subpoenas such as, inter alia, tax returns, tax voter registration, and bank records disproved the roommate’s succession claim because the documents did not show that the roommate lived in the subject premises uninterrupted for the statutory two-year period, or the requisite emotional and economic commitment between the roommate and her mother.
The court agreed with all of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s arguments and dismissed the roommate’s eviction proceeding finding that the roommate failed to establish that she was the tenant of record, or otherwise had standing to maintain the proceeding, thereby protecting the client’s valuable leasehold.
Christopher Halligan represented Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. on behalf of the tenant.