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Housing Court Favors Landlord Magnate in Veteran's Eviction Case

NEW YORK - April 23, 2017 - TelAve -- New York, NY. In a matter now filed with the Attorney General's Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force, the New York Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision to charge a tenant for all legal fees a landlord incurred in attempts to evict him. The landlord, Larry Ginsberg, head of Algin Management/Laurence Towers LLC, owner of over thirty high-rise buildings in New York representing multi-billions in assets, filed to evict a 40-year tenant on the basis of a claimed late payment of just one rental check.

Tenant Gerard Sunnen states that this one check was duly sent, but not cashed. "For forty years the landlord regularly cashed rent checks, then one month, nothing except for an eviction notice." Now known is that this is a common tactic of some New York landlords for flipping apartments out of rent stabilization.

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The matter landed in NY City's Housing Court, where months of court appearances cumulated landlord's legal fees, now billed to the tenant. Demanding some $19,800 - reflecting the unabashed rates of the landlord's lawyers, Belkin, Burden, Wenig and Goldman, LLP - the matter went to Justice Anne Katz, head of NY's Housing Court. Katz upheld the landlord's demands.

Sunnen, a Vietnam-era U.S. veteran (USAF-MC 71-73; USAF Reserves 73-82) baffled by the verdict, states, "After active military duty, that was a first rental, and since then all charges were duly honored. But the landlord relentlessly persisted to nix the rent stabilization guidelines of New York's Department of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), and this with some success." Sunnen adds, "The matter quickly escalated leading perilously close to eviction by the City Marshall."

Appealing the decision to the NY Supreme Court Appellate Term, First Department, the matter awaited final adjudication. In their decision, appellate justices Martin Shulman, Martin Schoenfeld, and Doris Ling-Cohan upheld Katz's order.

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"Tenants' rights are sacrosanct in many cities around the world," Sunnen added, "where community cohesion is so respected. In these turbulent times moving to upend the essence of New York's proprietary cultural fabric via massive real estate upheavals, veterans, as all New Yorkers, should live in the safety of spaces adequately shielded from powerful predatory interests, all in context of a protective and humanist judicial system."


Gerard Sunnen
200 East 33rd Street, 26J
New York, NY 10016
Tel. 212-6790679

References:  Index No. L&T 92116/02
L&T 078335/2015
NY County Clerk # 570869/2016

Gerard Sunnen

Source: Gerard Sunnen, MD

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