The Board of Directors of our client, a Mitchell Lama cooperative, consistently faces two overwhelming problems: they suspect either that the shareholders of record of certain units in the cooperative are not residing in the units as their primary residence, or that the shareholders of record of certain units have passed away or vacated the apartment and someone is living in the apartment who does not have the right to occupy it. However, given Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s extensive experience with non-primary residence and succession cases, these problems are not as daunting as they seem and our firm has successfully removed shareholders in 26 out of 26 cases brought before the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”).
In each case, the attorneys at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. first went on a fact-finding mission. In non-primary residence cases, we sent letters to the shareholders, requesting documentary proof of their primary residence. And, after the shareholders failed to provide sufficient proof within the required timeframe, we were convinced that the Board’s suspicions were correct. Our next step was to serve the shareholder in question with a Notice of Intention to Terminate at the cooperative apartment. This document gave the shareholder yet another chance to provide documentary proof of his/her primary residence. And, when the shareholder again failed to provide sufficient proof, a hearing was scheduled before an administrative law judge at HPD.
In succession cases, we sent letters to the occupants, requesting proof of the required familial relationship with the shareholder and proof of continuous residence with the shareholder for a period of two years. After the occupant at issue in the particular case failed to provide such proof, we sent a letter to the occupant denying any claims for succession he/she might have. We provided the letter denying succession rights and our breadth of evidence supporting such denial to the HPD administrative law judge and requested a certificate of eviction based on the submitted evidence.
Each and every case brought by Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. before HPD presented a different issue or problem. For example, in one succession case, our office discovered that the shareholder of record had been deceased, yet the household income affidavits were being fraudulently signed and notarized in his name. And, in a non-primary residence case, all of the cooperative’s documentation – the stock certificate, proprietary lease, and household income affidavits – indicated that the shareholder did, in fact, live in the apartment. However, through extensive investigation and the presentation of overwhelming and credible evidence, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was able to successfully convince the HPD administrative law judge of the shareholder and/or occupant’s wrong doing. As a result, in each case Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. obtained a certificate of eviction permitting its client to evict the shareholder and/or occupant who did not have the right to occupy the apartment.