By law, an owner may refuse to renew the lease of a rent-stabilized tenant and recover possession of the unit for the owner's personal use--or that of an immediate family's member--as a primary residence. At trial, the owner is required to demonstrate a "genuine" intention to occupy the apartment. If that burden is not met to the Court's satisfaction, the case against the regulated tenant will be dismissed. That was precisely the end result in Khaner v. Gavin wherein a "symphonic musician" sought to recover a Manhattan duplex apartment for his own use.
After observing the demeanor and comportment of the witnesses, the Housing Court determined that Mr. Khaner, a principal flutist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, primarily resided in Philadelphia and would continue to do so. On appeal, the Appellate Term, First Department, concurred with the Housing Court, and noted as follows:
Based upon the trial court's credibility findings, to which we defer, the...petitioner-landlord failed to establish the requisite good faith to recover tenant's rent-stabilized duplex apartment for personal use as his primary residence...A fair interpretation of the record evidence, including the landlord's own deposition testimony, supports the court's express finding that landlord, even if successful in recovering tenant's apartment, would continue to work as a symphonic musician in Philadelphia and to maintain his primary residence in a brownstone apartment building that he owns there.And, with the swift movement of the appellate panel's writing instruments, Khaner's claim cacophonously concluded.
For a copy of the Appellate Term's decision in the Khaner v. Gavin case, please click on the following link: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2006/2006_50690.htm
For Mr. Khaner's website, please click on the following link: