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Landlord Tenant Law Litigation

West Village Houses: Units Ruled Not Stabilized Despite Receipt of J-51 Benefits

Ever since 2009, it has been an article of faith that a building’s receipt of J-51 benefits means that all of the apartments therein automatically become rent-stabilized. If those apartments were already rent-stabilized, they become stabilized a second time. The second layer of rent stabilization has the effect of barring luxury deregulation, at least until J–51 benefits expire. In West Village Houses Renters Union v WVH Hous. Dev. Fund, Justice Barbara Jaffe held that the tenants of 32 unsold cooperative units at the West Village Houses complex were not rent-stabilized, even though their buildings had received J-51 benefits.

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Ever since Roberts v Tishman Speyer Props., 13 NY3d 270 (2009), it has been an article of faith that a building’s receipt of J-51 benefits means that all of the apartments therein automatically become rent-stabilized. If those apartments were already rent-stabilized, they become, under the logic of Roberts, stabilized a second time. The second layer of rent stabilization has the effect of barring luxury deregulation, at least until J–51 benefits expire. See, Schiffren v Lawlor, 101 AD3d 456 (1st Dept 2012).

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