Tenants at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village claimed that owners covered by rent regulations. Tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village sued property owner PCV ST Owner LP and general partner Tishman Speyer Properties, seeking damages for rent overcharges and a declaration that rent regulation should continue as long as the property owner received J-51 tax benefits. The tenants alleged that the owner had deregulated more than 25% of the units under the luxury decontrol law, but continued to receive J-51 benefits. The tenants further claimed that the luxury decontrol laws that allowed owners to deregulate high-income, high-rent apartments could not be applied as long as the building received the J-51 benefits.
Justice Richard B. Lowe III dismissed the tenants’ complaint, ruling that receipt of J-51 benefits did not preclude an owner from deregulating units under the luxury decontrol law. The court found that the luxury decontrol law, created in 1993, was not applicable to housing accommodations that became subject to rent regulation only because of their participation in the J-51 program. Because Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village had been subject to rent regulation since 1974 and had only begun participating in the J-51 program in 1992, the exclusion from the luxury decontrol laws did not apply to them. The court noted that J-51 benefits could be reduced in proportion to the number of units in the building that were deregulated through luxury decontrol.
Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Prop., Index No. 100956/07, Aug. 23, 2007 (Lowe, J.).