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Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., Brings Owner’s Own Use Proceeding and Obtains Judgment of Possession of Rent-Stabilized Apartment for Landlord

In New York, if certain conditions are present, the owner of a rent-stabilized apartment may choose not to renew a tenant’s lease and to seek possession of the apartment if the owner intends to occupy the apartment personally or if the apartment will be occupied by a member of the owner’s family. While a powerful tool in a landlord’s arsenal, every step, from planning to trial, must be executed flawlessly to be successful.

Recently, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was called upon to represent a family that needed to take back an apartment for personal use. The family’s other residence was rendered uninhabitable by Superstorm Sandy. Moreover, the aging parents required the first-floor apartment, as they could no longer climb stairs to the apartments above. The family already occupied one of the two first floor apartments in the building and needed to expand to the other first-floor apartment, combining them into one-floor apartment for personal use.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. met with the family to develop a comprehensive plan of action. This included an architect drawing up plans for the combination of the apartments, gathering all of the required information and documentation to demonstrate the condition of the destroyed alternate residence, and demonstrating the parents’ medical conditions.

At the appropriate time, before the expiration of the tenants’ lease, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. served a notice informing the tenants that their lease would not be renewed. Upon expiration, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. commenced an eviction proceeding and immediately obtained an order directing the tenants to pay use and occupancy to Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s clients during the pendency of the proceeding.

The matter first proceeded to discovery. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. helped the family with the discovery process, which included compiling documents concerning property ownership, property rental history, proof of residence, and documentation evidencing bona fide plans to combine the apartments.

After discovery, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. moved the matter to trial. At trial the family presented a unified front. Several family members testified about the property destroyed in Superstorm Sandy and the parents’ medical conditions. The family members testified about the family’s need for a larger living space, which included the younger generation caring for the older one and space for family gatherings. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. introduced documentary evidence of the destroyed home, and documentary evidence concerning the parents’ medical conditions. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. also introduced evidence from the architect’s plans for the combination of the apartments, which demonstrated that the project was both feasible and bona fide.

By the second day of trial the tenants, who were represented by counsel, capitulated and consented to the judgment of possession of the apartment in favor of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s clients.

Christopher Halligan and Vladimir Mironenko of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., represented the landlord.

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