Judge Bruce E. Scheckowitz


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Petitioner sued to recover possession of the subject premises in this holdover proceeding arguing tenants were not using the premises as their primary residence. Tenants moved for dismissal of the proceeding arguing the predicate notice was ambiguous and defective. The court agreed finding the petition ambiguous as it stated the premises with subject to rent control or rent stabilization, noting a failure to clearly state the proper rent regulatory status of the premises rendered the petition defective, thus, was itself a basis for dismissal. It noted the distinction between rent stabilization and rent control was significant as a specific notice of non-renewal was required to be served under Rent Stabilization Code §2524.2(c)(2) if the premises were rent stabilized. Service of a valid termination notice was a prerequisite to commencing a statutory holdover proceeding, and absent timely and valid notice of intent not to renew, an owner may not maintain an action to recover possession. The notice stated the lease for the apartment was terminated effective Feb. 28, 2017 and the notice was dated Feb. 29, 2011. Petitioner alleged the 2016 date was a typographical error but the court found same was not de minimis, and another basis for dismissal. Thus, tenants’ motion was granted.