Judge Jack Stoller

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Landlord commenced a holdover proceeding against respondents Sharon and Christopher Harvey, seeking possession of the subject premises—two combined units, 1 and 2—claiming Sharon was landlord’s employee whose job was terminated, and occupancy by others in the premises was derivative of Sharon. Respondents alleged they were tenants subject to the Rent Stabilization Law before becoming employees. Christopher testified he moved to Apt. 2 and made substantial repairs at his own expense, and when respondents’ son was born, petitioner combined Apts. 1 and 2. The court noted respondents never paid rent for the subject premises, never had a lease, and landlord registered Apt. 2 with DHCR as a “temporarily exempt” employee-occupied apartment. Also, it was concluded landlord requested respondents move to their subject premises, as they were told Apt. 2 was part of the job. Further, respondents’ unrebutted testimony of their renovation of the first apartment constituted more evidence consistent with a desire to remain there, and consolidation of a non-employee apartment with theirs, supported respondents’ position they did not relinquish their status as tenants upon taking the superintendent job, and the proceeding was dismissed.