David’s client was forced to leave his rent-stabilized apartment when the landlord had to perform structural work. Several months later, the landlord informed the client that the work was done and he could move back in. There was, however, a problem. The apartment was a wreck. The landlord left the apartment full of construction debris and dust while allowing it to become infested with rodents. The tenant refused to move back in and the landlord sued him for nonpayment of rent.
David conducted a two-day trial where he successfully proved that his client was constructively evicted due to the conditions in the apartment. The trial court dismissed the landlord’s claim for rent. This week the Appellate Term affirmed the tenant’s victory in 542 East 14 Street LLC v. Moses. The tenant is now entitled to reimbursement for his legal fees.