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Inadvertent Sending of a Letter Should Not Result in Dismissal of a Meritorious Non-Primary Residence Action

In a case sadly reflective of certain decisions made by the judges of the housing court, the Appellate Term recently reinstated a non-primary residence proceeding that had been dismissed because the landlord sent a single letter to the daughter of the tenant of record acknowledging her recent move into her mother’s apartment. Based upon this letter, the lower court held that the daughter had somehow obtained the rights of a licensee and since the landlord did not send a notice that terminated the license, the non-primary proceeding against the mother had to be dismissed. As a result, the landlord would have had to wait until the next renewal period to bring the proceeding. In reversing and reinstating the petition, the Appellate Term found that the letter did not vitiate the previously served and timely Golub Notice. The appellate court also found that the daughter was not a necessary party to the proceeding.

Jeffrey R. Metz represented the owner on the appeal before the Appellate Term.

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