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Housing Court Can Issue A Judgment Only For RENT

Posted by NuncProTunc on August 12, 1998 at 14:14:13:

There is over 100 years of precedent in New York that summary proceedings (landlord-tenant court and housing court) can issue a judgment only for something which is rent. Not everything that a tenant pays to a landlord is rent. Late charges, repair charges, attorneys' fees, Mitchell-Lama surcharges, etc. are not rent unless the lease says they are rent or additional rent. One of the Housing Court Decisions on incorrectly summarized a case dealing with Mitchell-Lama surcharges. New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan and the Appellate Division, First Department, had previously determined that the surcharges were not rent.

In Lincoln Amsterdam House, Inc. v. Baxter, NYLJ, April 23, 1998, p. 28, col. 1 (now reported as 671 NYS2d 244), the summary in Housing Court Decisions indicates that this was a summary proceeding in housing court, and that the Appellate Division, First Department permitted a judgment, even though the landlord was seeking Mitchell-Lama surcharges, which were not rent. In fact, the landlord moved for summary judgment in Supreme Court on certain issues. and asked for a judgment for rent, surcharges, and attorneys' fees. The decision clearly states that it is an appeal from a judgment of Supreme Court, New York County, Justice Stewart Cohen.

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