Q: Does a tenant of a 2nd floor, 2-family house, fails to pay rent with an purported reason that the basement is 'illegal'?
Tenant has a lease for and occupy the 2nd floor of a 2-family house and lived there for 12 years. The allegation of illegal basement arose after tenant was given notice to vacate premise
A: When an owner uses a building that has a Certificate of Occupancy for two (2) families for three (3) separate dwelling units, a defacto multiple dwelling is created. The law requires that any building in NYC used for three or more dwelling units must have a current Multiple Dwelling Registration ("MDR") in order to maintain a non-payment case. Therefore, if the building has three (3) or more dwelling units but no MDR a nonpayment case cannot be successfully maintained in Housing Court
Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer
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