Balcony Ruled Not Part of Loft

475 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn. Image credit: Google Maps.

Loft tenant counted terrace/balcony to reach statutory minimum of 400 square feet. David Coventry rented unit 1109 of a loft building located at 475 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn. Coventry applied for coverage and protection under the Loft Law. The owner of 475 Kent Avenue opposed, arguing that unit 1109 measured less 400 square feet, the minimum size required to be covered by the Loft Law. Coventry responded that unit 1109 would meet the 400 square foot threshold if the exterior terrace/balcony were included in the calculation. The parties stipulated that the interior space was less than 400 square feet and submitted the issue of coverage to OATH.

OATH Administrative Law Judge Alessandra F. Zorgniotti rejected Coventry’s argument, ruled that terrace/balcony space does not count, and held that unit 1109 was too small to be covered by the Loft Law. ALJ Zorgniotti noted that the City’s zoning code required an affordable housing unit with ”zero bedrooms” to be at least 400 square feet within perimeter walls. The legislature in 2013 amended the Loft Law to conform to the City’s zoning code by reducing the minimum loft size from 550 to 400 square feet. In addition, the State’s Multiple Dwelling Law, which includes the Loft Law, defined floor area in terms of interior space.

Accordingly, ALJ Zorgniotti ruled that Coventry failed to demonstrate that unit 1109 was covered by the Loft Law and denied Coventry’s application for protection under the Loft Law.


Matter of Coventry, OATH Index No. 357/18 & 361/18 (July 12, 2018).


By: Ross Sandler

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