S&P Associates of New York LLC v. Vera Salnikova and Ronald Stone

Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. successfully obtained a judgment of possession for a 2,777 square foot, five bedroom, four bathroom apartment with panoramic views of Central Park and the Time Warner Center. The building in which the apartment was located was converted to condominium ownership pursuant to a "non-eviction" offering plan. The tenant chose not to purchase her apartment at the "insider price" during the exclusive purchase period and was therefore offered a lease containing a market rent, pursuant to General Business Law 352-eeee(2)(c)(iv) (the "Martin Act"). The rental rate in the lease offered by the Sponsor increased from $8,050 to $15,500 per month. When the tenant refused to execute the lease, the Sponsor commenced eviction proceedings. The central issue in the proceeding was whether the monthly rent set by the Sponsor constituted an unconscionable rent under the Martin Act. The Court concluded that the Sponsor properly established the rent based upon the rents of comparable apartments in the building and that the tenant had not been subjected to an "unconscionable increase beyond ordinary rentals" in violation of the Martin Act. The Court also awarded the Sponsor a money judgment for use and occupancy in the amount of $139,840 and attorneys' fees.

(Civil Court, New York - Decided: October 17, 2011)
(Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. Team: Deborah E. Riegel and Brett B. Theis , for petitioner)