Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SUCCESSION RIGHTS - WHAT IS A FAMILY MEMBER - PART 1



530 SECOND AVE. CO., LLC v. Zenker, 2017 NY Slip Op 50232 - NY: Appellate Term, 1st Dept. 2017:

"We agree that respondent Lillian Zenker failed to meet her "affirmative obligation" of establishing succession rights to the rent stabilized tenancy as a nontraditional family member of the deceased tenant (see Rent Stabilization Code [9 NYCRR] § 2523.5[e]). While respondent and tenant may have lived together in a close relationship at one time, it is not disputed that the parties separated in 1988 and respondent then lived elsewhere for some 15 years. Although respondent moved back into the apartment in 2003 — because she was facing eviction from her basement apartment in Queens — there was no evidence that she thereafter resided with tenant in a relationship characterized by "emotional and financial commitment and interdependence" (see 9 NYCRR § 2523.5 [b][1]). There was neither testimony from friends, neighbors, or family members corroborating a family-type relationship between the two, nor any documentary or other credible evidence that respondent and tenant intermingled finances, jointly owned property or formalized legal obligations (see GSL Enters. v Lopez, 239 AD2d 122 [1997]; Seminole Realty Co. v Greenbaum, 209 AD2d 345 [1994]). To the contrary, the evidence showed and the court expressly found that respondent's relationship with the tenant during the relevant period was that of "friends, roommates and business colleagues.""

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