When Owners Evict Stabilized Tenants

Q: I am a rent-stabilized tenant in an 18-unit building that was recently sold. The new owner has made it clear that the building will be converted to a one-family home for his family. Is there a law that protects tenants in a situation like this?

A: Jarred I. Kassenoff, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, said that an owner may take back rent-stabilized apartments for his own use or for the use of an immediate family member. “There are no limitations on the number of units that can be sought for this purpose,” Mr. Kassenoff said.

But, he said, if an owner wants to take over an apartment occupied by a tenant — or the tenant’s spouse — who is disabled or 62 or older, the landlord must provide an equal replacement apartment in the immediate area at the same rental terms as the stabilized rent.

Moreover, Mr. Kassenoff said, an owner can evict a stabilized tenant only after the current lease expires, and provided he gives written notice of nonrenewal 90 to 150 days before the expiration. He said that owners must actually use the recaptured apartments as their (or their family members’) primary residence for at least three years or penalties can be imposed, including possible triple damages to a wrongly evicted tenant.

–taken from the NY Times

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