Davidson v. House of Hope

Landlord/Tenant Law

New York Law Journal


Judge Bruce Scheckowitz

Tenant Davidson moved to be restored to possession of the subject premises in these illegal lockout proceedings. It was not refuted that Davidson was removed from House of Hope, a transitional residence, three days after his October 2012 rent check was cashed. Respondents argued Davidson's executed "waiver of tenant rights" permitted it to remove him for failure to comply with house rules. Respondents argued that as House of Hope was a residence where people pay for a bed and rehabilitation assistance, residing at the premises did not create a typical landlord-tenant relationship. Thus, respondents claimed the waiver was enforceable, entitling House of Hope to evict people without a summary proceeding or court order. The court disagreed. It found the waiver unenforceable and ruled that Davidson was illegally evicted without due process. It said Real Property and Proceedings Law §711 and the New York City Administrative Code §26-521 state that any person residing at a premises for more than 30 days is entitled to due process before eviction. The court noted House of Hope cited no authority that their accommodation was a special class of housing exempt from the laws, restoring Davidson to possession of the premises.

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