The attorneys at Rozen Law Group have years of experience defending rent stabilized and rent controlled tenants against eviction in holdover proceedings. We also represent market rate tenants that are being sued in holdovers by their landlords.
Landlords often try to evict rent-stabilized tenants by claiming that the tenant doesn't actually reside in the apartment. By law, rent-stabilized tenants are required to live in their apartment for at least 183 days out of the year. A common tactic that NYC landlords employ is to claim that a tenant's second home, investment property or other address that the tenant is somehow connected to is where the tenant actually lives.
The first indication that a tenant is facing a non-primary residence challenge is when they are served with a Golub Notice. The law requires that sometime between 90-150 days before a rent-stabilized lease is set to expire, the landlord must serve the tenant with a “Notice of Non-Renewal,” which will state the reason(s) that the landlord does not believe the tenant is not living in the apartment. The Notice will often list an alternative address for the tenant as well as any other basis for the non-primary residence claim. The law requires that the Notice must be very specific and if it's not, the tenant may be able to get the case dismissed on that basis.
Based on the information contained in the Notice, a tenant can start building a defense to the impending non-primary residence case by gathering documents to show that the rent-stabilized apartment is their primary residence. Our office has defended hundreds of tenants facing non-primary residence holdover proceedings and we have the tools and strategies to help you build the strongest defense possible.
Nuisance holdovers: landlords sometimes try to evict tenants based on the claim that either the tenant or an occupant of the apartment is a “nuisance.” Some of the more specific claims that a landlord could make under a nuisance theory are:
- The tenant is creating too much noise. Some common examples that we routinely see are the claims that the tenant's TV is too loud, they practice musical instruments that cause too much noise or their children run and play in the apartment, creating a noise issue.
- The tenant engaged in illegal behavior in the apartment. If a tenant is arrested and/or convicted for selling drugs out of the apartment, the landlord will often bring an eviction case against everyone in the apartment. If you are a tenant that knowingly allows illegal activity to happen in the apartment, you could be evicted even though you were not the wrongdoer.
- The apartment is too cluttered, which creates a fire and/or sanitary issues for the building and other tenants. This type of case is sometimes referred to as a “Collyer Case.”
- The tenant has caused a fire or some other type of physical damage to the apartment or the building, whether intentionally or accidentally.
- The tenant consistently or “chronically” pays the rent late.
The tenant, an occupant of the apartment, and/or any of their guests, have engaged in aggressive or harassing behavior. This could include an argument with neighbors, building staff or the management company.