A Manhattan landlord tried to evict his rent stabilized tenant claiming that the tenant did not use the apartment as his primary residence, rather the tenant used the apartment as a business,  as reported by the New York Law Journal in a June 12, 2013 news article.

A rent stabilized tenant means that the landlord cannot raise the tenant’s rent greatly and the landlord has to renew the tenants lease unless there are violations of the lease.  When a landlord determines how much a tenant’s rent should increase under the new lease or the lease renewal, the landlord looks at a rent guideline which sets out the maximum percentage that a landlord can raise the rent.

In the current case, the landlord alleged that the tenant has another name and that he has other active addresses in addition to his business address. Also the tenant has a website where he listed his address as his business address. The tenant claims that he does not go by another name and the other name the landlord claims he has is the identity of a completely different person whom he does not know or had any connection with.  Moreover, the landlord wanted more facts pertaining to the case at hand and he tried to gather this information through the discovery process, while the tenant wanted to dismiss the case.  Discovery is used to clarify things and issues pertaining to the case at hand, and it is not used to determine whether someone’s claim is adequate or not.

The landlord was able to obtain affidavits from its employees alleging that these employees barely saw the tenants and it seemed like the tenant did not live there as his primary residence. Moreover, if the employees saw the tenant it was usually in the morning and he left in the afternoon.

The judge did not allow discovery and held that the landlord’s case is not strong enough and the evidence is insufficient to establish that the tenant did not rent the space or that there is no relationship between the multiple addresses found. Moreover the judge held that the affidavits provided by the landlord’s employees are “compulsory, vague, and contradictory.”  In addition, the judge held that if someone is seen in the morning and the afternoon, then it does not necessarily mean that they do not live there as there can be other reasons as to their entrance and departure. The issues of this case will most likely be settled at trial at the end of the month.

If you are seeking legal advice, then do not hesitate to contact the law office of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. Mr. Lutzky is a Bronx, New York attorney who has over 30 years of experience practicing law. He offers free initial in person consultations and handles a variety of matters from family court and divorce to bankruptcy and accidents. Call 718-514-6619 to schedule an appointment or visit the lawyer’s website, www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com, for more information.