Judge Sheldon Halprin

Landlord sued seeking possession of the premises in this holdover action. They claimed the premises was not subject to rent regulation, thus they were entitled to recover possession as the lease expired, and tenants were served with a 30 day notice of termination. Tenants argued the premises was subject to rent stabilization, and asserted counterclaims for rent overcharge. They cross-moved for summary judgment dismissing the petition. Landlord argued that based on the decontrol exception within Rent Stabilization Code §2526.1(a)(2)(ii), the “four year rule” applied to the time the court could look back. The court rejected landlord’s interpretation and applicability of the statute, noting the Appellate Term held it was proper to go beyond the four year rule as it was not for the purpose of calculating a rent overcharge, but to decide if the premises was regulated. Also, if there was fraud or an unlawful rent, the court noted it could look beyond the four years. Thus, as landlord disregarded the requirements of the RSC, including any filing or registration of the premises, tenants’ cross-motion seeking summary judgment was granted, and the petition was dismissed.