Trafalgar Co. v. Malone, 570108/21

CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Term
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM.
Citation155 N.Y.S.3d 272 (Table),73 Misc.3d 137 (A)
Parties TRAFALGAR COMPANY, Petitioner-Landlord-Appellant, v. Georgia MALONE, Respondent-Tenant-Respondent, and "John Doe" and "Jane Doe," Respondents-Occupants-Respondents.
Docket Number570108/21
Decision Date26 November 2021

73 Misc.3d 137 (A)
155 N.Y.S.3d 272 (Table)

TRAFALGAR COMPANY, Petitioner-Landlord-Appellant,
v.
Georgia MALONE, Respondent-Tenant-Respondent, and "John Doe" and "Jane Doe," Respondents-Occupants-Respondents.

570108/21

Supreme Court, Appellate Term, New York, First Department.

Decided on November 26, 2021


Per Curiam.

Order (Marcia J. Sikowitz, J.), dated March 2, 2021, insofar as appealed from, affirmed, with $10 costs.

In view of Civil Court's unchallenged determination that the two apartments occupied by tenant had been previously illegally altered by landlord or its predecessor, and were occupied without a valid certificate of occupancy, landlord was precluded from recovering rent or use and occupancy (see Multiple Dwelling Law [MDL] §§ 301[1], 302 ; Chazon, LLC v Maugenest , 19 NY3d 410 [2012] ; Malden v Wykoff S.P., LLC, 192 AD3d 1002 [2021] ; Barrett Japaning, Inc. v Bialobroda , 190 AD3d 544 [2021] ; Matter of GVS Props. LLC v Vargas , 172 AD3d 466 [2019] ; Matter of 49 Bleecker, Inc. v Gatien , 157 AD3d 619 [2018] ; Hart-Zafra v Singh , 16 AD3d 143 [2005] ). Thus, the use and occupancy deposited into court by tenant pursuant to RPAPL 745(2), as per Civil Court's January 2018 orders, was properly directed to be returned to tenant (see RPAPL 745[2][d][iii] ).

We also agree that tenant is entitled to a return of the use and occupancy deposited into court and paid directly to landlord pursuant to the parties' February 2019 and May 2019 stipulations. The stipulations, which stayed the underlying holdover proceedings while tenant challenged a DHCR determination that the apartments were not subject to rent stabilization, respectively directed that tenant deposit into court and, then, tender use and occupancy directly to landlord as a condition of the stay. The stipulations further provided that such payment and deposit of the use and occupancy was "without prejudice to any and all of [tenant's] rights and/or claims and/or defenses regarding the subject apartments and/or the [holdover] proceedings," language which necessarily included tenant's MDL § 302 counterclaim. Giving proper effect to the plain language of the stipulations (see Mill Rock Plaza Assoc. v Lively , 224 AD2d 301 [1996] ), and the court's...

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