Rent demand defective.


(Decision submitted by David Hershey-Webb of the Manhattan law firm of Himmelstein McConnell Gribben Donoghue & Joseph, who represented the tenant.)

Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent. Tenant was a plaintiff in the case of Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties LP and claimed that his apartment was improperly deregulated. In that case, still pending after New York's highest court ruled for tenants, the court had permitted landlord to offer renewal leases and implicitly to bring nonpayment proceedings based on landlord's calculation of the legal rent, without prejudice to claims by either side as to what the legal rent actually was. The court in Roberts had asked the DHCR for an advisory opinion, but the DHCR said that the rent for each apartment should be determined on a case-by-case basis without a general formula. Tenant claimed that landlord's rent demand was defective and asked the court to dismiss the case.

The court ruled for tenant. Landlord's April 2011...

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