Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Performs Extensive Due Diligence and Utilizes Spoliation of Evidence Doctrine in Swift Defeat of Landlord’s Non-Primary Residence Case Against Television Producer
When a Manhattan television producer – the longtime tenant of a rent-stabilized apartment in Little Italy – was served with a notice of lease termination from his landlord because the subject apartment was allegedly not his primary home, he turned to Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to represent him. The landlord believed that because the client owned a second residential property in Long Island, he was spending an extended time away from his apartment and therefore, the apartment was not his primary home. Immediately upon being retained, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. performed extensive due diligence in order to demonstrate that the apartment was in fact the client’s primary residence under the current rent-stabilization laws.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. reviewed copious amounts of the client’s documentation, including, but not limited to, bank records, tax returns, utility, cable bills and other invoices, correspondence from governmental entities, EZ pass records, voter registration and other relevant mail to show that the client resided at the subject premises on a regular basis as his primary residence, and therefore had maintained an ongoing, substantial physical nexus with the premises for actual living purposes.
Additionally, the client advised Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. that the landlord had installed a spy camera directly outside of the subject premises in order to surreptitiously track his movements. Since Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. had already determined that the apartment was the client’s primary residence as a result of its exhaustive due diligence, it demanded the production of the film captured from this spy camera which would conclusively establish that the client resided at the apartment regularly. Consequently, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.served the landlord’s counsel with a formal demand for the preservation of the film from the spy camera, which the landlord had a duty to preserve under New York law. In accordance with well-settled law concerning the spoliation of evidence, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. advised the landlord that if it failed to properly secure and preserve the video footage, it would give rise to a legal presumption that this evidence would have been harmful to the landlord’s case, and that the destruction, alteration, or loss of any of such evidence, could lead to the issuance of sanctions. Further, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. notified the landlord that if it prosecuted its frivolous non-primary residence case, the client would interpose counterclaims for, inter alia, harassment and damages.
Upon receiving Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s letter, the landlord promptly capitulated by dropping its non-primary residence holdover proceeding, and instead transmitting a lease renewal to the client. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. swiftly and resoundingly defeated the landlord’s case, which took less than three weeks from start to finish.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. attorney Dov Treiman handled the matter for Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.