Notwithstanding Roadrunner Capital Partners’ claim that its monthly rent had been reduced by 50% (pursuant to an oral agreement), the New York County Supreme Court rebuffed that argument and awarded the landlord the full balance sought.
On appeal, the Appellate Division, First Department, cited to several provisions of the parties’ lease which hindered the tenant’s claim.
Paragraph 21 provided that any lease related change or subsequent agreement was “ineffective unless in writing and signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought.” While paragraph 25 provided that no provision of the parties’ agreement would be waived “unless in writing” signed by the landlord. And both paragraph 25, and article 45 of the rider, noted that acceptance of partial rent payments “would not be deemed an accord and satisfaction” nor would that otherwise impact the owner’s right to seek any differential.
In addition to that language (barring any oral lease modification), the AD1 didn’t think Roadrunner provided any independent, credible evidence establishing a “waiver” or modification. An “uncorroborated affidavit” submitted by the tenant’s agent, and the failure to identify any “specific written evidence” supporting its contentions were found to be insufficient to defeat the landlord’s request for a pretrial monetary recovery.
Because it was entirely “speculative” that discovery would yield any materials supportive of the tenant’s position, the “mere hope” that evidence would ascertained, wasn’t enough to delay or deny landlord’s requested relief.
Looks like that Roadrunner got steamrolled flat as a pancake there ….
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