475 Kent Owner LLC against Ksenya Samarskaya

Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. successfully litigated a claim for use and occupancy before Judge Frances A. Ortiz in the Civil Court of New York, County of Kings, Housing Part H, on behalf of its client, 475 Kent Owner LLC, the owner of the loft building located at 475 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn. The case follows the filing of an eviction proceeding against Ksenya Samarskaya, a Loft Law tenant in the building, for using Airbnb and other websites to rent her apartment for short-term transient occupancy and unauthorized sublet. After terminating the tenancy, 475 Kent Owner LLC sought use and occupancy while the case proceeded. Samarskaya refused to pay, arguing that the Multiple Dwelling Law barred collection of use and occupancy because a certificate of occupancy for the loft building was pending during the construction work required under the Loft Law, and therefore the owner was not in compliance with the Loft Law. However, because the owner had recently purchased the building after the code compliance deadlines under the MDL had expired, the owner had applied for and received an extension of the deadlines from the Loft Board. Rosenberg & Estis argued that because the owner had secured an extension, the owner was therefore in compliance with the Loft Law and entitled to collect use and occupancy. The judge agreed with Rosenberg & Estis' position and ordered that the respondent pay $16,016 for use and occupancy for the period of August 2017 through February 2018, and $2,288 monthly beginning March 10, 2018. The decision benefits owners who seek extensions of the Loft Law code compliance deadlines, as it confirms they are brought into compliance with their obligations under the MDL and the Loft Law by virtue of the extension. In addition, in the decision, Judge Ortiz characterized the tenant's use of Airbnb as a "serious and substantial obligation of her tenancy."