The Landlord and Tenant Proceedings Committee focuses on current law and issues pertaining to the relationships between landlords and tenants, as well as other occupants of real property. The Committee’s primary goal is to keep members of the Committee up to date on this ever evolving field. The Committee generally holds four evening meetings each year, at which presentations on topics of interest to the members are made by well qualified speakers, usually with CLE credit for attendees. Presentations are generally followed by a Q&A period. Examples of topics for which presentations have been made at recent meetings include Landlord-Tenant Update – 2016; Yellowstone Actions; Reasonable Accommodations for Animals in Housing; and Bed and Breakfast Occupancies.

Committee membership is open to members of the Real Property Law Section.

 

Court Decisions

Facial Challenge to HSTPA Rejected

On September 30, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York rejected a facial challenge to the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA). Several real estate industry groups and individual landlords commenced separate actions alleging that the recently enacted HSTPA constituted a regulatory and physical taking of their properties and violated both the due process clause and contract clause of the U.S. constitution. The named defendants were New York City, the Rent Guidelines Board, members of the Rent Guidelines Board, the State of New York and DHCR and its commissioner.

In his decision in Community Housing Improvement Program v. City of New York, Judge Eric Komittee rejected the claims of physical taking and claims of regulatory taking based on prior holdings of the Supreme Court and Second Circuit. Claims under the due process clause were rejected as well as the contract clause claim. Only a limited number of contract clause claims asserted by individual landlords who acquired property in the early days of the Rent Stabilization Law and showed that a reasonable expectation of a return on their investment may be impaired by the changes in the ability of an owner to terminate preferential rents in leases made under prior law were allowed to survive.

While the court observed that provisions of HSTPA concerning extended stays in the post judgment stage of a summary proceeding may present constitutional concerns, it declined to address them as premature because there was no showing that the statutory provisions had yet been applied.

The decision can be read in its entirety here (PDF).

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