Landlord sued to evict tenants from six-unit building in order to provide apartment for son. Shlomo Karpen owns a six-unit, rent-stabilized building in Brooklyn comprised of two rented units on the first, second and third floors. In June 2018, Karpen notified the tenants in the rented apartments that he would not renew their leases and intended to take over the apartments to make a four-bedroom apartment for his son. In October 2018, Karpen commenced an eviction proceeding against the tenants. Before the case could be completed, the State Legislature passed the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which amended Rent Stabilization Law Section 26-511(c)(9) to provide that a landlord can recover only one apartment in a building for owner occupancy and must show compelling necessity.
The tenant, relying on the new amendment, moved to dismiss Karpen’s eviction proceeding. Karpen opposed tenant’s motion, arguing that the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 violated his due process rights and protections pursuant to the United States Constitution and the New York State Constitution.
Kings County Civil Court Judge McClanahan rejected Karpen’s arguments that the new law was unconstitutional and dismissed the eviction proceeding. Judge McClanahan ruled that economic regulations of landlords and tenants were not per se takings. The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act did not enact a new law, but expanded laws already in effect and thus, did not constitute an unconstitutional impairment of the contractual relations between Karpen and his tenants. The Court wrote that when a party, like Karpen, purchases into a regulated enterprise, the party should have a reasonable expectation that further restrictions will be put in place by the legislature.
Karpen v. Castro, 114 N.Y.S.3d 840, 2019 N.Y. Misc., 2019 NY Slip Op 29365, 66 Misc. 3d 362.
By: Shelby Arenson (Shelby is a New York Law School student, Class of 2021.)