Judge Jack Stoller

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Petitioner landlord sought possession of the subject premises from tenant Sanchez in this holdover proceeding arguing termination of her tenancy. Sanchez’s answer alleged the premises was subject to the Rent Stabilization Law, and moved for a directed verdict after petitioner rested. Petitioner’s managing agent testified the prior tenant was subject to the rent Control Law, but noted Sanchez’s lease indicated a $2,400 preferential monthly rent, albeit the actual rent was $2,500, and the lease contained no riders referring to the premises’ past rent regulatory status. It was noted landlord did not register the premises with DHCR or provide Sanchez with any other notice of the prior rent controlled status in order for tenant to challenge the premises’ regulatory status. The court stated without such a rule a landlord may unilaterally treat an apartment as unregulated even if it did not qualify for deregulation. The court concluded landlord failed to prove it may terminate Sanchez’s tenancy without causes as it failed to prove the premises was not subject to the Rent Stabilization Code (RSC) . Therefore, the court granted Sanchez’s motion dismissing the petition, and restored the matter for conference as tenant interposed a counterclaim.