Matter of 2807/2809 Claflin Realty v. Rhea
NEW YORK COUNTY
Justice Alexander Hunter Jr.
Landlord sought an order compelling respondent New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to restore subsidy payments, made to landlord on tenant Diaz's behalf, retroactive to the date they should have been reinstated. NYCHA cross-moved for dismissal with prejudice. The court noted in a proceeding for mandamus relief, the four month statute of limitations did not begin to run until the date landlord's demand for action was refused. Also, it stated landlord would be found guilty of laches, and its proceeding barred if it failed to make a demand for relief within a reasonable time after the right to do so occurred. The court ruled landlord's right to make a demand arose when the subsidy was suspended June 2011, yet it failed to make a demand until June 2012. It concluded there was no ambiguity that NYCHA made a final determination as it reinspected the premises, after it failed a Housing Quality Standards review. Thus, the first non-payment of a disputed subsidy constituted a final and binding determination, putting landlord on notice of NYCHA's adverse decision. Hence, the four month statute of limitations began to run in June 2011, but this action was not commenced until over a year later. Therefore, landlord was time-barred.