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656 Realty, LLC v. Beronica Araujo

APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT, FIRST DEPARTMENT


December 22, 2010

656 REALTY, LLC,
PETITIONER-LANDLORD- ANTONIO ARAUJO AND
v.
BERONICA ARAUJO,
RESPONDENTS-TENANTS-RESPONDENTS.

Per curiam.

656 Realty, LLC v Araujo

Appellate Term, First Department

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on December 22, 2010

PRESENT: McKeon, P.J., Shulman, Hunter, Jr., JJ

Landlord, as limited by its briefs, appeals from that portion of an order of the Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County (Timmie Erin Elsner, J.), dated April 22, 2009, which granted, in part, tenants' motion for partial summary judgment on their rent overcharge counterclaim in a nonpayment summary proceeding.

Order (Timmie Erin Elsner, J.), dated April 22, 2009, affirmed, with $10 costs.

The 1997 rent reduction orders were properly considered in determining the existence and the amount of the rent overcharge because these orders, though issued more than four years prior to the interposition of the overcharge claim, were extant during the four-year period preceding the interposition of the claim (see Cintron v Calogero, 15 NY3d 347 [2010]; Jenkins v Fieldbridge Assoc., LLC, 65 AD3d 169 [2009], appeal dismissed 13 NY3d 855 [2009]; but see Rich v E. 10th St. Assoc., LLC, 77 AD3d 60 [2010], lv granted 2010 NY Slip Op 86472[U]). Contrary to landlord's argument, the rent reduction orders remained in effect even though landlord registered and collected rent in excess of that permitted by the orders for more than four years after issuance of the orders (see Cintron, supra, citing Thelma Realty Co. v Harvey, 190 Misc 2d 303 [2001]). As the Court of Appeals recently observed, "refusing to give effect to a rent reduction order's direction to roll back rent in cases where the order remained in effect during the statutory four-year period would countenance the landlord's failure to restore required services and thwart the goals of the Legislature in enacting Rent Stabilization Law § 26-514, namely, to motivate owners of rent-stabilized housing accommodations to provide required services, compensate tenants deprived of those services, and preserve and maintain the housing stock in New York City' (Jenkins, 65 AD3d at 173, citing Matter of Hyde Park Assoc. v Higgins, 191 AD2d 440, 442 [1st Dept 1993]). In short, rent reduction orders impose a continuing obligation on a landlord and, if still in effect during the four-year period, are in fact part of the rental history which [the court] must consider" (Cintron,15 NY3d at 356).

We note that tenants do not challenge Civil Court's holding that the legal rent was $571.54 on the base date.

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE COURT.

Decision Date: December 22, 2010

20101222

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