Press Mentions


ALBPC Prevails in a Complex Non-Primary Residence Case for 100-year-old Woman, Pro Bono

Landlord tries to evict 100-year-old in rent-controlled apartment


By Linda Massarella
November 28, 2017


An Upper East Side landlord is trying to evict a 100-year-old tenant from her rent-controlled apartment by claiming she’s never there.

But Justa Lopez hasn’t been lounging on a beach — she broke her hip in a fall in the apartment, has spent the last year in and out of hospitals and claims the landlord just wants to cash in on her plight.

Lopez, who said she hasn’t missed a rent payment in the 50 years she has lived in the pad at First Avenue and East 78th Street, filed suit to keep her home and force the landlord to make it safer.

“They’ve been waiting to get rid of me. This is an excuse,” Lopez, who raised three children in the apartment and has 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, told The Post.

“It’s my home, my life is there.”

Not only does Lopez want the eviction attempt squashed, she’s demanding that the landlord redo the floors so it’s safe for her to walk around.

Her lawyer, Dov Treiman, said the real reason for the eviction proceeding is money.

Lopez is paying $150 a month for a two-bedroom apartment that would go for at least $2,700 in today’s market.


“She doesn’t deserve to be shuffled off and dismissed,” said Treiman. “Just because she’s 100 doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a right to an apartment.”

A man who answered the phone at Paley Management Corp., which operates the building, told The Post: “Mr. Paley won’t be in today and there will be no comment.”

Lopez, whose plight was first reported by NY1, moved to the Big Apple from Puerto Rico in 1948 and once ran a beauty ­salon on Second Avenue.

She broke her hip a year ago when she slipped on the living room floor.

“The floor is bad, it tilts down and I lost my balance. I’d been asking them for years to do something, [and] they ignored me.”

Lopez said that after being treated in the emergency room, she was placed in a nursing home, where she received physical therapy. She then stayed with her daughter in Smithtown, LI, while continuing to convalesce.

But her possessions are in the apartment and she says she has always intended to return.

According to the state, a rent-controlled apartment must be a person’s primary residence, but there are exceptions. “If one is away from the apartment in order to receive medical treatment, then that doesn’t count as being away from the apartment at all,” ­Treiman said.

Lopez’s senior-citizen neighbors told The Post they’re afraid they’ll be next.

“It’s a terrifying feeling for the elderly who live on a fixed income,” said a resident who asked to be identified only as “Mary Ann” for fear of reprisal.

“They [the landlords] are motivated by money,” said the neighbor, 62. “It’s heartless. It’s despicable.”

Original story

Related Practices

Tenant Representation

Related Attorneys

Adam Leitman Bailey Dov Treiman

Related Content

With “Professionalism, Support, and Persistence”, ALBPC Works Hard to Keep Tax Benefits for Client “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.” Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Successfully Defends Foreclosing Plaintiff’s Action against Motions to Vacate and Dismiss Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Defeats Standing Defense and Wins Summary Judgment for Foreclosing Plaintiff ALBPC Obtains Condo Deposit Refunds for Two Clients Totaling Over $10 Million, Including Interest Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Assists with Drafting the Foreclosure Motion Templates Promulgated for Use By Administrative Order 356/17 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Provides Free Closings For All Employees 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. Assists With The 2017-2018 American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA) Mortgage Law Summary 2017 – 2018 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 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.