Elderly Tenant Didn’t Understand Court Procedure

LandlordsNY Member

LandlordsNY Member

Our Case of the Week looks at a Landlord who sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant for nonpayment of rent. The court ruled for landlord based on tenant’s default. Tenant later asked the court to vacate the default judgment. The court ruled for tenant and reopened the case, finding that tenant showed both excusable default and a potentially meritorious defense. Tenant, who was elderly and disabled, claimed that he didn’t understand the court petition and thought that another paper would come from the court. He didn’t realize that he was supposed to appear at the court clerk’s office to answer the petition. Tenant also showed that he had paid some of the rent demanded, and that there were likely errors in the rent demand. The default was vacated and the case reopened.

Elliot Place Properties, Inc. v. Perez: 53 Misc.3d 1212(A), 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 51593(U) (Civ. Ct. Bronx; 11/10/16; Lutwak, J)

Thanks to our friends at Landlord V Tenant and the Habitat Group, LVT # 27369

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