Judge John Stanley


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Landlord sought possession of the subject premises from respondents, claiming tenant of record Campos failed to occupy the premises as his primary residence. Fernandez, Campos’ wife, and their two daughters resided in the premises alone as she stated Campos left the premises in 2006 and never returned. She asked property manager Melaim Bauta for a lease in her name but he stated rent would increase if he gave her a lease in her own name, advising that Campos to continue signing renewal leases. Evidence established Melaim knew Campos permanently left the premises in 2006 as Fernandez informed him of same. The court stated as Melaim accepted Campos’ signature on subsequent renewal leases, despite knowing he no longer resided there, showed the landlord acquiesced to such arrangement, and that Campos and Fernandez did not engage in any subterfuge to hide Campos’ departure from the premises. Even if the legal permanent vacate date of Campos was Jan. 31, 2012—expiration of the last signed renewal lease—evidence showed Fernandez resided in the premise for the last two years prior to Campos’ vacatur and landlord was aware of same. Thus, the court granted Fernandez succession rights to the apartment, awarding her a final judgment of possession.