In order for a corporation to enjoy the benefits of rent stabilization, the lease must specify a particular individual (and not a class of individuals, like a "corporate officer" or "President") as the authorized occupant. The reason for this rule is that without a person's name, the tenancy could run in perpetuity; an end result disfavored by law.
In New York University v. Kopper's Chocolate Specialty Co, Inc., the University sought to terminate Kopper's Chocolate's corporate lease for a Washington Square Village rent-stabilized apartment occupied by Kopper's principal, Leslye Alexander. After motion practice, a Housing Court Judge concluded that the University had failed to state a proper basis for eviction and dismissed the case. On appeal, the Appellate Term, First Department, affirmed, noting as follows:
Although the initial 1982 lease was issued solely in the name of the corporate tenant, at least four subsequent renewal leases identified respondent Alexander as a tenant and occupant of the stabilized apartment premises. Moreover, landlord's real estate director candidly admitted at deposition that he "understood that the apartment would be for" Alexander, to be "occupied by her only." In this posture, the possibility of a "perpetual tenancy" was obviated...Since it is undisputed that Alexander, the original occupant, has remained in sole and continuous possession for over two decades, the holdover petition was properly dismissed.
Every victory should be as sweet.
For a copy of the Appellate Term's decision in New York University v. Kopper's Chocolate Specialty Co, Inc., please click on the following link:
To visit Kopper's website, please click on the following link: