Q. I am a rent-stabilized tenant in an 18-unit building that was recently sold. The new owner has made it clear that the building will be converted to a one-family home for his family. Is there a law that protects tenants in a situation like this?
But, he said, if an owner wants to take over an apartment occupied by a tenant — or the tenant’s spouse — who is disabled or 62 or older, the landlord must provide an equal replacement apartment in the immediate area at the same rental terms as the stabilized rent.
Moreover, Mr. Kassenoff said, an owner can evict a stabilized tenant only after the current lease expires, and provided he gives written notice of nonrenewal 90 to 150 days before the expiration. He said that owners must actually use the recaptured apartments as their (or their family members’) primary residence for at least three years or penalties can be imposed, including possible triple damages to a wrongly evicted tenant.
Q. I know that a landlord can recover a stabilized apartment for his personal use, but can a landlord refuse to renew a stabilized lease because he intends to use the apartment “in connection with his business”?
For example, if the landlord was reclaiming the apartment for use solely as a management office for the building, that would probably be allowed. If, on the other hand, it could be shown that the landlord really intended to re-rent the space for commercial purposes, that would probably be disallowed.
Mr. Ng noted that because the landlord must prove his case to the agency, it would be wise for the tenant to hire a lawyer.