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An Appellate Division Case For The Tenant

Posted by Mark Smith on October 08, 2000 at 07:35:56:

In Reply to: Succession Rights??!!! posted by Tramar on October 06, 2000 at 17:47:51:

Below is the relevant portion of TenantNet's Housing Court Decisions summary of an Appellate Division decision which held that the provisions of the Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997, which excluded aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews as family members entitled to automatic succession rights, should not be applied retroactively.

In this case, the uncle died in 1993 -- four years before the law was passed, and the landlord still tried to have the law applied retroactively.

Case Caption: 300 E. 34th Street Co. v. Habeeb

Issues/Legal Principles: The absence of documents is not conclusive evidence of a tenant's primary residence, nor is documentary evidence required under the statute.

Keywords: nonprimary residency

Court: Appellate Division, First Department

Lower Court Judge: Hon. Howard Malatzky

Date: December 18, 1997

Citation: NYLJ, page 25, col 3

Referred Statutes: RSC 2523.5(b)(1) & 2520.6(o)

[Abbreviated] Summary:

Respondent-occupant Habeeb sought succession rights to his deceased uncle's rent stabilized apartment. Habeeb was the nephew and godson of the tenant of record who died in July, 1993 from AIDS complications. A trial was held wherein Habeeb asserted that he lived with his ailing uncle as his primary residence for at least two years prior to his uncle's death (the necessary time period under the succession rights statute).

[see Housing Court Decisions - December 1997 at for the rest of the summary, or click on the link at the end]

The Appellate Division also rejected the landlord's argument that the new 1997 law, whereby nephews are not allowed succession rights, should be applied. The court held that the new statute should not act retroactively.

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