Judge Jack Stoller
Petitioner commenced a holdover proceeding against co-respondent Jiminian, and Baez for possession of the premises arguing Jiminian was a rent stabilized tenant but did not maintain the premises as his primary residence, yet, Baez’s occupancy was derivative of Jiminian’s. Baez’s answer asserted a succession defense. Landlord introduced a two year lease signed by Jiminian for a Bronx address commencing 2007 with deposition testimony revealing Jiminian and Baez never lived together at the subject premises. Jiminian testified he sponsored Baez for immigration purposes, ensuring she and her family had a place to live. The court found petitioner proved its prima facie case, and Jiminian conceded he was not living in the premises since at least 2014 and the outcome of the proceeding turned on Baez’s defense she had a right to succeed to Jiminian’s tenancy of the premises. The court ruled as the parties never lived in the premises at the same time, Baez could not prove she was Jiminian’s family member and resided with him for at least two years before he permanently vacated the premises. Also, Jiminian signing a renewal lease at the Bronx address in 2015 vitiated a succession claim and landlord was awarded a final judgment of possession against Baez and Jiminian.