DID THEY TAKE CREATIVE LICENSE HERE?
When a building owner commenced a licensee holdover proceeding, alleging any right that Nittaya Chimsanthia had to occupy the premises ended upon her husband’s death, the woman countered by alleging that her husband was not a mere building manager or superintendent, but a shareholder and officer (i.e, President) of the landlord entity, that the principals of the petitioning landlord were her in-laws, and, that her late husband’s interests in the building now belonged to her.
After the New York County Civil Court denied granting summary judgment – pre-trial relief -- in the landlord’s favor, an appeal to the Appellate Term, First Department ensued. And the latter agreed that it was premature to award any victory to this landlord. In addition to entertaining the possibility of an ownership interest in the building, the AT2 thought there may be merit to Nittaya’s contention that she held a life estate in her particular unit. To that end, the court noted, as follows:
“Petitioner failed in its burden to demonstrate that respondent's now-deceased husband occupied the apartment solely as an incident to his employment as building manager or superintendent …. Moreover, triable issues were raised with respect to respondent's defense that her late husband, the president and shareholder of petitioner, converted the subject commercial loft space to residential use at his own expense in consideration of a life estate for the benefit of his spouse ….”
Seems life this case is going to take on a life of its own ....
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