Cooperative apartment buildings in New York governed by Mitchell-Lama Rules are required to ensure residents’ compliance with the rules. Akin to rent stabilization and rent control laws, shareholders must primarily reside in the apartment and may not generally sublet their apartment. When suspecting rules violations, management investigates whether unauthorized occupants are present in the apartment or whether shareholders are linked to other residences. Working with private investigators and performing our own due diligence, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. helped to identify and prosecute offending shareholders. Once such rule violations appear corroborated, we serve the offending shareholders with notices of intention to terminate the tenancy, listing the grounds and facts upon which the notice is based. Each matter then proceeds to a conference and then a hearing before a hearing officer at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, charged with enforcing New York City Mitchell-Lama Rules. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., routinely represents Cooperative buildings in these cases. Recently, after expiration of the COVID moratorium, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was called upon to investigate and commence dozens of such non primary residence and illegal subletting cases for one of our clients, a large Brooklyn Mitchell-Lama Cooperative.
Analyzing investigation reports and mandatory income affidavits, and performing our own searches, we identified and built cases against non compliant shareholders. We then drafted and served notices to shareholders detailing facts demonstrating their non primary residence or illegal subletting. Often times this includes ownership or rental of other properties, voter registration, driver license record, utilities and cell phone service linked to other residences, and observations by building staff and residents.
In several recent cases, the shareholders found the evidence against them so overwhelming and the notices so detailed that the shareholders (in many cases through counsel) immediately gave up, opting to sign agreements surrendering the apartments instead of proceeding to a hearing. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. will aggressively prosecute the cases at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development but all of the cases it was assigned to.
Vladimir Mironenko at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. represents the Mitchell-Lama COOP.