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Scott E. Mollen Scott E. Mollen

Commercial Landlord-Tenant—Landlord Awarded Legal Fees and Sanctions Based on Tenant’s Delay Tactics With Respect To Surrendering the Premises—Litigation Involved More Than Seven City, State and Federal Judges—“Landlord and Tenant Law is Technical and Complex, and Requires a High Level of Skill”

A landlord commenced a commercial summary holdover proceeding by service of a 30-day termination notice (notice) seeking to recover possession of the subject premises. The month-to-month tenancy was terminated effective Oct. 31, 2017. After the tenant, a private school, failed to voluntarily vacate the premises, the landlord served a notice of petition and petition. The tenant had moved to dismiss the petition.

The motion to dismiss had been denied. The tenant had claimed that there were defects in the pleading and the affidavit of service. A court previously found that service had been proper and any alleged defects in the affidavit of service were “insignificant.” That court directed the tenant to serve an answer to the petition. The tenant filed a notice of appeal to the Appellate Term. However, the tenant failed to serve an answer. The landlord had moved for a default judgment. The tenant had cross moved for permission to file a late answer and demanded a traverse hearing.

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