Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was retained by the owner of a building in West Harlem comprised of approximately 1,193 Class A apartments on a single footprint spanning over five towers. Due to the fact that all of the residential windows were more than 45 years old, beyond their useful life, and increasingly costly to repair and maintain, the landlord enrolled in New York State’s energy efficiency program and commenced an integrated project to install brand new windows throughout the complex in order to improve the living condition of the residents.
The Landlord’s plans and specifications for its project were duly filed with the New York City Department of Buildings, which reviewed said filings and issued all needed Building Permits. The new windows met all applicable health, housing, building, energy and safety code regulations.
The tenants in this Supreme Court action, which solely sought a mandatory injunction, occupied one of the two remaining resisting apartments in the complex that unjustifiably refused the minimally invasive installation of the new windows. The other apartments allowed the seamless installation without resorting to litigation. The existing windows in the tenants’ apartment were no longer energy efficient, resulting in inefficient heating, increased fuel consumption, higher carbon emissions, and increased amounts of air pollution from the building’s boiler plant.
The tenants filed an Answer interposing various affirmative defenses including improper service, improper venue, improper notice, and an expired permit.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. expeditiously moved for an award of summary judgment in lieu of proceeding to trial so as to keep litigation costs down relying upon Paragraph 16 of the lease between the parties, which unequivocally granted to landlord the right “to: repair, inspect, exterminate, install or work on master antennas or other systems or equipment and perform other work that Landlord decides is necessary or desirable. Failure of Tenant to provide access to Landlord shall be considered a material violation of this Lease…” Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. argued that each of the tenants’ affirmative defenses lacked merit, warranting summary dismissal.
The Court adopted these arguments and ordered immediate access upon 48 hours written notice to the tenants for the replacement of the windows in their apartment.
Jennifer Milosavljevic of the Landlord and Tenant Practice Group and Dov Treiman, its chair, obtained this result without putting the client to the expense of a trial.