Law School Case Brief
Villas of Forest Hills Co. v. Lumberger - 128 A.D.2d 701, 513 N.Y.S.2d 116 (App. Div. 1987)
In a holdover proceeding brought pursuant to N.Y. Real Prop. Acts. Law § 711 in the Civil Court of the City of New York, a landlord must allege that the apartment is subject to the New York City Rent and Rehabilitation Law, New York City, N.Y., Administrative Code of the City of New York (Administrative Code) § 26-401 et seq.; the New York City Rent Stabilization Law, New York City, N.Y., Administrative Code § 26-501 et seq.; or neither law. In the case of the owner of a building under the Rent Stabilization Law, the landlord must also allege that he is a member in good standing of the Rent Stabilization Association and that he is in compliance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 22, § 2900.21(e)(2). Although the failure to make the required allegation will not deprive the hearing court of jurisdiction of the matter since the defective petition may be corrected by amendment, the need to plead rent regulatory status and compliance with the appropriate statutes and codes and to actually be in compliance therewith is necessary for a court to order the requested relief.
In a holdover proceeding, the trial court granted respondent landlord possession of the premises, denied appellant tenant's motion to disqualify respondent's attorneys, and granted respondent's motion to dismiss appellant's affirmative defense.
Did the landlord prove compliance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code?
On appeal, the court reversed the trial court's decision granting summary judgment to respondent landlord. The court found that the trial court made no determination with respect to whether respondent was in compliance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, New York City, N.Y. The exclusive remedy for review of a determination of the Conciliation and Appeals Board of the City of New York is a N.Y. C.P.L.R. art. 78 proceeding and such determination will not be disturbed if it has a factual basis in the record, a reasonable basis in the law, and is neither arbitrary nor capricious. The court remitted the matter to the trial court for a determination of whether respondent was in compliance. The court affirmed the validity of the Conciliation and Appeals Board of the City of New York (CAB) because appellant had already challenged the validity of the CAB proceeding in another hearing. The court vacated the order striking appellant's affirmative defense. The court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of appellant's motion to disqualify respondent's counsel because counsel had not previously represented appellant.
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