475 Kent Owner, LLC v Estrada and Jacobson

Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. secured a victory before the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), denying Loft Law coverage for two units created by dividing a larger unit after the close of the applicable window period.

The tenants sought coverage for their units on the theory that the occupancy of the units as a single, larger unit during the window period by one tenant was sufficient for coverage. Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. successfully argued on behalf of the owner that the new units, divided at some point between January 1, 2010 and June 21, 2010, were ineligible for coverage because they did not exist during the window period. Specifically, Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. argued that the Loft Law requires that each unit be occupied as independent, residential units during the window period.

OATH adopted Rosenberg & Estis's argument that because these units were created after the window period, they are ineligible for coverage. Unlike prior cases where divided units were found to be covered, here the units did not exist at all during the window period and the units were created before the enactment of the law pursuant which applicants sought coverage. Accordingly, OATH recommended denial of coverage.