Itkowitz PLLC Gets Nonprimary Residence Tenant Out


May 18, 2017

I got a non-primary residence tenant out in Queens(1)

My client bought the building and the seller said this tenant was gone. My client observed the apartment and it seemed that the tenant was, indeed, gone. We installed a camera; no activity. No one was there.

Then we served the Golub notice. Lo and behold, the tenant appears and asserts her rights to the apartment.

People don’t understand that a nonprimary residence analysis has two parts. Part 1 is whether the tenant is there. If the tenant is there, landlord loses; no case. If the tenant is not there, then we move to Part 2. Part 2 is this — does tenant have a good excuse for not being there. 

Good excuses include:

• Temporarily taking care of sick relative
• Traveling for work
• Temporarily exploring a romantic relationship
• Forced out because of conditions in the apartment
• Away at school

I once saw a case lost because the tenant, who was gone for 2 years, claimed she was living in her country home because she was suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome two years after 9/11. Her apartment was downtown. That’s not a crazy excuse.

Here, however, tenant had too many excuses — her mom, her boyfriend, her job, alleged mold in the apartment…she was all over the place. The judge was not finding her credible.

We settled. Tenant began a new chapter with a little buyout money. Landlord refurbished the unit for the next Rent Stabilized tenant at a higher but legal price point. And the world continues to spin upon its axis.

Respectfully submitted,

Michelle Maratto Itkowitz

(1) Details changed to protect the innocent.