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Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Obtains Certificate of Eviction Against Mitchell-Lama Apartment Occupant Who Failed to Prove Entitlement to Succession

Under Mitchell-Lama Rules, when a tenant of record of an apartment passes away, certain persons may claim succession to the apartment based on a relationship with the tenant of record and length of time of co-residency at the apartment. Generally, one claiming succession must establish a familial relationship or an emotional and financial commitment and interdependence with the tenant of record and establish co-residency at the apartment with the tenant of record for two consecutive years. The burden of proof is on the claimant of succession to prove entitlement to remain in the apartment.

The firm’s client, the board of directors of a Mitchell-Lama cooperative, referred a case to Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to determine whether the current occupant of the apartment was entitled to reside there. After an investigation, the firm determined that both shareholders had been deceased, that a person claiming to be the shareholders’ son was being listed on the household income affidavits, and that, other unknown occupants, who were not listed on the household income affidavits, were likely residing in the apartment.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. immediately sent a succession discovery letter to the apartment, offering the shareholders’ purported son an opportunity to submit documentation proving his entitlement to succession. After not receiving documentation in response, the firm denied succession and submitted a detailed letter to the New City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”) with documentation supporting the denial of succession. In light of the documentary evidence and the occupant’s failure to meet the burden of proving an entitlement to succession, HPD affirmed the denial of succession and issued a certificate of eviction for the removal of the occupant.

Vladimir Mironenko and Courtney J. Killelea represented the board of the cooperative corporation.

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