Bathtub accommodation denied

31-14 42nd Street, Astoria. Image Credit: Google Maps.

Elderly tenant sought lower tub or walk-in shower. Raquel Nuredin is an 87-year-old tenant of a rent-controlled apartment building located at 31-14 42nd Street in Astoria, Queens owned by Koufa Reality. Nuredin has a claw foot tub in her apartment and is unable to use her tub because she cannot safely enter or exit due to her advanced age.

Nuredin requested that the claw foot tub be replaced with a lower lipped tub or walk in shower as a reasonable accommodation for her reduced mobility. To support her claim, Nuredin obtained medical documentation from her physician to justify her request and submitted the accommodation request to Koufa.

Koufa Realty denied Nuredin’s request and Nuredin filed a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. The Commission agreed with Nuredin and recommended that a bathtub that had a cut out on the side or a walk-in shower would be a reasonable accommodation.

Koufa refused and Nuredin sued in Civil Court to compel the accommodation pursuant to New York City Administrative Code Section 8-107(15). Nuredin argued that the Civil Court has jurisdiction over the matter because of its powers to enforce the housing and maintenance code. Nuredin argued that the claw foot tub violated the housing code and sought implementation of the Commission’s recommendation to remedy the violation. Koufa moved to dismiss the petition.

Supreme Court Justice Sanchez ruled for Koufa Realty holding the claw foot tub was not a violation of any of the codes that the court had the authority to enforce. As Nuredin could not articulate a violation of the various codes, the Court held that an enforcement order was outside the authority of the court to find the violation for Nuredin.

Nuredin v. Koufa Realty Corp., 72 Misc.3d 205 (Civ. Ct. Queens, April 15, 2021)

By: Brian Dugan II (Brian is a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2022.)



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