Case Study

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. advocacy secures favorable settlement for both landlord and tenant

New York state law possesses statutes which bar tenants from wrongful eviction due to having a roommate. These statutes also permit a tenant to sublet, so long as they have acquired permission from their landlord. As the cost of living in New York City remains the highest in the nation, many residents must pool their resources just to get by. Moreover, with the size of the traditional family being smaller, many larger apartments are being rented by groups of young people in order to mitigate the high price of rent.

One such situation was with the occupants of a large four bedroom apartment located near a prestigious university.  The landlord frequently rented to students, and consequently, frequently had problems. The landlord found himself having to file lawsuits against the various student’s guarantors—most of whom were from out of state—despite the time-consuming and costly nature of the process. Eventually, however, the landlord came upon a trusty tenant. The tenant always paid the rent on time, but had selected roommates who were destructive. As consistent with New York law, a tenant has the right to a roommate, but there are still conditions.  The landlord, desiring more control of whom was living in his building, brought the case to Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to see if they could provide some aid.

The attorneys swiftly commenced a sublet proceeding against two of the additional “roommates.” The attorneys strategized and concluded that they would question the other roommates and determine if there claim to the apartment had any legal grounds. After the initial posturing of whether the “roommates” should be categorized as tenants, guests, relatives, etc., the tenant ultimately capitulated after the strain of litigation became both costly and counter productive to his claims.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was able to quickly cement a deal between the client and the tenant, in which the tenant would continue to have one roommate in one of the rooms; and if he wished to sublet the other rooms, he would seek the client’s permission. The attorneys fees were settled as a liquidated penalty, that would be due if there were any transgressions to the agreement.

Ultimately, it was a win-win for both the client and the tenant. The tenant remained in the apartment for several years before moving out, and left the client’s unit in better shape than when it was initially rented.

Christopher Halligan of Adam Leitman Bailey represented the landlord in this matter.

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