Case Studies

Back

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Uses Creative Legal Theory to Save Tenant’s Rent Stabilized Apartment


CaseStudy_IMG_21

After years of an uphill battle against a relentless and aggressive landlord, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., representing the tenant, prevailed in a three day trial in New York County Civil Court. Judge Halprin, ruling from the bench, declared the tenant victorious, just minutes after the attorneys delivered their closing arguments.

It was a long road to victory for the tenant. Years ago, the tenant and her husband, paleontologists with a small business, lived together in a tiny and crammed studio apartment around the corner from their store. So when the tenant was presented with an opportunity to rent a one bedroom rent stabilized apartment just blocks away, she signed the lease and the couple immediately spread their lives over the two apartments and the store. Naturally, at the time, rather than going through the motions of re-registering all her mail, it was convenient for the tenant to keep all her mail coming to the original apartment. The tenant thought nothing of it.

But the landlord thought otherwise. Represented by an aggressive real estate law firm, and wanting to take back the apartment, the landlord brought a non-primary residence case against the tenant claiming that her failure to forward her mail proved that she did not live in the new apartment. At trial, the landlord paraded the tenant’s monthly statements and bills in front of the judge, most of which were still being sent to the first apartment. The landlord even brought in a witness from Con Edison to testify that the electricity usage in the subject apartment was lower than the couples’ studio. After the tenant herself got on the stand to testify in her own defense, the relentless landlord’s attorneys hounded her with documents, questions, and accusations during a cross-examination that was conducted by two attorneys and which spanned over the course of two days.

Nevertheless, not deterred by the landlord’s strong showing of documentary evidence, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., crafted a creative and pioneering argument which ultimately prevailed in the case: “The proximity of the two apartments to each other and to the business created a nexus over which the couple spread their lives equally.” Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., bolstered the defense using the tenant husband’s doctor who testified at trial. The doctor explained that over the years the husband developed sleep apnea which caused him to snore loudly and uncontrollably throughout the night. As a result, after spending the entire day working in their store the tenant and her husband were forced to stay in separate apartments to get even a few hours of sleep in a night.

Therefore, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., argued that the fact that the tenant may have been away from the apartment on several nights out of the week did not prevent the apartment from being her primary residence. Regarding the mail, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. argued that the original building had a doorman who held the couple’s mail in the lobby, making it easier for the couple to pick up the mail on their way to either apartment or their store.

In the end justice prevailed as Judge Halprin dismissed the proceeding with prejudice. The judge adopted Adam Leitman Bailey P.C.’s arguments holding that the tenant maintained a “substantial ongoing nexus with the subject premises.”

Christopher Halligan of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., conducted the trial while Jeffrey R. Metz drafted the trial brief. Vladimir Mironenko, the author of this case study, second seated the trial. Dov Treiman and Adam Leitman Bailey also participated in the case and trial.

Related Practices

Tenant Representation

Related Content

“It is so nice to work with people who can become part of your work family. You are an amazing attorney, and always go above and beyond…” “Tears in my eyes as I thank God for you and your staff.” “I’ve learned so much and gained knowledge with a desire to work in the real estate department.” “We are finally at the point in time when I can say thank you so much for your phenomenal work. Your faith in this case was wise and the outcome matches.” “Hard work and risk pays off for closing” A Day in the Life of a Cooperative Transfer Agent: Saving the Closing Against Money Judgments ALBPC Wins $1.2 Million Judgment on Behalf of Small Brokerage Firm, Wins on Appeal, and Gets the Judgment Paid in Full within Months Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Defeats Statute of Limitations Defense in Borrowers’ Motion to Dismiss Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., Maximizes and Collects Surplus Money Funds for Condominium Board After Bank Foreclosure Sale of Condominium Unit Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Prevails at Traverse Hearing, Defeats Borrower’s Motion to Vacate and Dismiss, and Wins Judgment for Lender ALBPC Prevails in a Complex Non-Primary Residence Case for 100-year-old Woman, Pro Bono ALBPC Prevails in a Complex Non-Primary Residence Case for 100-year-old Woman, Pro Bono ALBPC Prevails in a Complex Non-Primary Residence Case for 100-year-old Woman, Pro Bono Handling and Storing Hazardous Materials Brokers Win $1.2M In Six-Year-Long Commission Battle Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Prevails at Traverse Hearing, Defeats Borrower’s Motion to Vacate and Dismiss, and Wins Judgment for Lender (Part I) Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Uses Creative Legal Theory to Save Tenant’s Rent Stabilized Apartment Adam Leitman Bailey Presents at New York State Bar Association Advanced Real Estate Topics: “Advice from a Litigator” Christopher Halligan Speaks to the New York State Bar Association on Jury Trials in Landlord – Tenant Proceedings Adam Leitman Bailey Lectures for New York State Bar Association on Easements, Adverse Possession and Arcane Laws to Overcoming Building Obstacles Adam Leitman Bailey Guest Lecturer at New York Law School’s Landlord-Tenant Class NYSBA – Removing Real Estate Development Obstacles: Zoning, Restrictive Covenants, Easements, Adverse Possession and Boundary Disputes

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.

NEW YORK REAL ESTATE ATTORNEYS