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Landlord Tenant Law Litigation

Claim of Non-Purchasing Tenant Status Rebuffed

When developers convert occupied buildings to condominiums or, less frequently, cooperative ownership, non-purchasing tenants are protected from eviction. When tenants in those buildings acquire vested rights as non-purchasing tenants is significant for developers, because the timing dictates the number of units that will be available for sale to outside purchasers. It is, therefore, no surprise that this is a highly charged and contested issue.

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When developers convert occupied buildings to condominiums or, less frequently, cooperative ownership, non-purchasing tenants are protected from eviction. When tenants in those buildings acquire vested rights as non-purchasing tenants is significant for developers, because the timing dictates the number of units that will be available for sale to outside purchasers. It is, therefore, no surprise that this is a highly charged and contested issue. Kessler v. Carnegie Park Associates, et al., represents the most recent effort by a group of tenants to expand their rights and to retain possession of otherwise unregulated units. In Kessler, plaintiffs unsuccessfully claimed that eligible senior citizens and eligible disabled persons are entitled to non-purchasing tenant status under the Martin Act upon acceptance of a non-eviction offering plan for filing. The Supreme Court and the Appellate Division made short-shift of their baseless claims and dismissed the complaint on a pre-answer motion to dismiss, recognizing that plaintiffs had ignored the statutory differences between eviction plans and non-eviction plans.

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