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Scott E. Mollen Scott E. Mollen

Landlord-Tenant—Rent Stabilization—Appellate Division Held That Landlord Substantiated Claim That it Made Sufficient Expenditures for Individual Apartment Improvements Warranting Apartment’s Exemption From Rent Stabilization—Invoices—Checks—Photographs—Dissent Contended Landlord Failed To Meet Its Burden of Proof

This appeal involved the issue of whether the “record sufficiently demonstrates” whether an owner of a NYC apartment building had spent “an amount in qualified individual apartment improvements (IAIs) (to the subject apartment), sufficient to render that apartment exempt from rent stabilization.” If the landlord had not spent a sufficient amount of money to deregulate the apartment, the court had to consider whether the rent overcharge supported a finding of “willfulness” and an award of treble damages.

The Appellate Division (court) found that the landlord had “substantiated their claims that they had made sufficient expenditures for IAIs performed in the apartment to warrant exemption from rent stabilization” and there was no rent overcharge. Thus, the court did not determine whether the rent overcharge was willful.

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