When an occupant of a governmentally regulated apartment claims succession rights to the apartment, but does not fall into one of the statutorily defined “familial relationships” with the tenant of record, in addition to proving a minimum of two-year’s co-residency, the occupant is required to prove an emotional and financial commitment and interdependence with the tenant of record.
Recently, a landlord called upon Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., to investigate a succession claim asserted by the tenant of record’s niece. Since uncle-niece is not a statutorily recognized familial relationship, the niece was required to prove an emotional and financial commitment and interdependence with her uncle, and a two year “co-residency” period.
Believing that the niece was fabricating her story, the team carefully scrutinized the niece’s documentary evidence and performed a detailed investigation on both the niece and uncle, both as to residence and as to financial interdependence. Using creative trial techniques taught by senior attorneys at the firm, the team developed a comprehensive cross-examination strategy to identify and demonstrate the contradictions and inconsistencies in the niece’s testimony and documentary evidence. The team uncovered that the niece had no contact with her uncle for almost ten years after he vacated the apartment, and sought a negative inference from the fact that the uncle did not even testify on his own niece’s behalf. Equally important, the team demonstrated, using documentation compiled during the course of the investigation, that the niece could not meet her burden to prove that she actually co-resided with the tenant of record during the applicable period.
The team’s attention to detail and meticulous case preparation resulted in the denial of the succession claim.
Adam Leitman Bailey represented the landlord and Vladimir Mironenko led the research for the team on behalf of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.