ALBPC Wins Eviction of Rent Controlled Tenant Claiming Puerto Rican Sojourn for Dental Treatment

By Christopher Halligan

If a tenant subject to the Rent Control Law does not maintain the subject premises as a primary residence, the Landlord may sue for possession of the premises. However, the Landlord must establish that the tenant does not maintain an ongoing, substantial, physical nexus with the subject premises for actual living purposes.

The team at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. commenced a holdover proceeding to recover possession of the premises from the tenant. Through investigations and vigorously analyzing the tenant’s testimony, we were able to identify homes that the tenant had purchased in Puerto Rico, further discovering that the tenant spent the majority of her time at that residence rather than the New York rent-controlled apartment.

In court, the tenant sought to withhold documents requested in the discovery demands and use them for her own benefit without submitting the documents into evidence. However, ALBPC put the document into evidence over tenant’s counsel’s adamant objections.

In spite of a strong paper trail tying the tenant to her New York apartment ALBPC proved that the tenant spent the majority of her time outside of the rent-controlled New York apartment. Analyzing bank records, ALBPC demonstrated that the tenant was in her Puerto Rican home for fifteen of a critical period of twenty-four months. Further investigation revealed that the tenant’s claim that her girlfriend was living in the subject apartment as part of their love affair was completely feigned and she was actually a sublet for profit.

In spite of the tenant’s claim that she had to stay in Puerto Rico for dental treatment, ALBPC’s brief convinced the court that this claim was feigned as well. Thus, among the efforts of its investigative team, trial team and brief writing team, ALBPC recovered this valuable apartment for the landlord.

ALBPC attorneys involved in the effort included Christopher Halligan, Dov Treiman, and Vladimir Mironenko, assisted by Summer Associate Allyson Weinberg.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.