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Landlord Court Victory in LINC / Licensee Case

Last month we were proud to tell you about a GL&S victory in Court involving landlords who found themselves facing unexpected restrictions imposed by the City's LINC Program on otherwise free market apartments.

This month we are starting the New Year off with the report of yet another court victory we have just won for all landlords. The case involves a Rent Regulated apartment in which the previous tenant of record had surrendered her tenancy to the landlord but left behind additional occupants who were deemed to be licensees.

For those readers unfamiliar with the term "licensee", it commonly describes an occupant who may have received permission from someone who was legally in possession of the premises and had the right to have him or her co-reside with them. Once the tenant of record vacates the apartment or passes away, such permission or "license" to continue in occupancy generally terminates or expires by operation of law and the landlord may then pursue a proceeding to recover possession

In our latest successfully concluded case, the licensee had voluntarily agreed to vacate by a Court stipulation entered into prior to the imposition of the Covid-19 restrictions on evictions. However since the date to vacate fell out during the time these protections were still active, the court had to decide whether the licensee should benefit by these restrictions and avoid eviction until they were rescinded.

By a well-researched and adeptly written decision, the Court concluded that the myriad of legislative restrictions, executive orders and court administrative rulings (both on the state and federal level) pertaining to tenants who faced financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 virus should NOT apply to Holdover cases.

As a result our client's Licensee Holdover case brought against the occupant was allowed to apply for the warrant of eviction and seek the recovery of the subject premises.

This most recent of our office's court victories, once again should encourage landlords to begin Holdover proceedings in a situation like that described above or where you believe your tenant has violated a current lease provision or for 1-5 family buildings or commercial tenancies where a lease has expired or does not exist.

Please call us if you have any questions or to further discuss these and your other legal options in the rapidly evolving field of landlord and tenant law.

Over the past four decades of representing property owners and renters, our office has constantly striven to offer personalized and friendly service to our clients and their acquaintances. We truly appreciate our clients' steadfast loyalty to our staff, our attorneys and ourselves and promise that we will always be just a phone call or email away to answer any of your legal questions.


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