Landlord Must Pay $19.5K for Harassing Tenant
What Happened: While laws banning landlords from harassing tenants are common in residential settings, New York is one of the few states that extends this protection to commercial tenants. A small landscaping business owner claimed that her landlord crossed the line by filing three different eviction lawsuits against her in the course of a year, even though she did nothing wrong and paid the rent on time each month. The court agreed and ordered the landlord to pay the tenant $19,509 in damages.
Decision: The New York appeals court upheld the ruling that the landlord harassed the tenant.
Reasoning: The eviction suits weren’t only constant but inconsistent, with each complaint asserting a different obscure legal theory and alleging a set of facts that totally contradicted the facts alleged in the previous suit. In addition to the stress, these “shenanigans” (the court’s word, not ours) were highly disruptive and forced the tenant to spend precious time with lawyers rather than tending to her business.
- One Wythe LLC v. Elevations Urban Landscape Design Inc: 2020 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1477, 2020 NY Slip Op 50437(U)