In a knockdown, dragout fight at 215 West 84th Street, building owner Miki Naftali said: Tenant blocks his condo project on the rope.
Holdout Ahmet Ozsu has been denied emergency rent assistance by the state. If approved, he could avoid eviction for up to a year, giving developers more power to demand his seven-figure acquisition.
But Ozsu’s attorney, Adam Leitman Bailey, said renters still have a choice and are holding off Naftali’s plans to turn the rented building into luxury condominiums for a few months, if not longer. said it can. Naftali said he was not going to start working for a while anyway.
Last month, a housing court judge ruled on a building in Otsu, on the Upper West Side. last remaining tenantcan stay in his penthouse while the state reviewed his rent relief application. But late last week, the state rejected Otsu’s application, asking only for future rent, not for late payment (under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, up to 12 months of back rent and his A month’s advance rent is provided.)
Naphtali had filed for eviction In January, Otsu claimed a tenant overstayed a terminated lease and had not paid rent since September. prohibit eviction Your request is under review.As the two sides could not agree on a buyout, Naphtali submitted a demolition plan For July building.
Otsu said new york times In April, he turned down an initial $30,000 buyout offer. Naftali declined to comment on it, but Ozsu claimed he was asking for more than $1 million.
Denial of rent subsidy does not put Otsu in immediate danger of eviction. Reitman-Bailey said the decision was likely a mistake and the client will appeal. He has 30 days to do so.
Court documents show that Otsu listed at least four months of unpaid rent in his application for assistance. Laitman Bailey said tenants sought relief for these arrears in defiance of the state’s rationale for refusing assistance.
Still, the action of the state Temporary Disability Assistance Agency, which runs the relief program, was a surprise. According to an email shared by The Real Deal, the agency said his application was provisionally approved in early September. I had to find out how much Naphtali owed.
It is unclear whether Naftali’s response, or lack of response, contributed to the denial. The landlord says the ERAP filing must match that of the tenant in order for funding to be approved. Naphtali and his attorney declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Naphtali had previously said he did not intend to receive any money from the program because he had not asked for rent from Otsu. will be
OTDA unknown For timely and accurate decisions regarding ERAP applications. Leitman-Bailey said he hopes authorities will conclude the denials were false.
If not, Otsu still has some routes to postpone the eviction and further delay Naphtali’s project. If his appeal for assistance is successful, Otsu is eligible for up to 12 months of eviction protection.
But the appeal itself could take some time. OTDA has an open application. It took eight months for the agency to make Otsu’s decision.
Even if Otsu’s appeal is dismissed, Laitman Bailey can pursue a retaliatory eviction claim filed alleging that Naftali tried to evict the tenant. I have filed two lawsuits against HP containing claims for repairs that have not been made.
The latest documents, filed last week, say developers have created “outrageous construction noise,” disabled elevators to laundry rooms, blocked Otsu’s mail delivery for months, flooded lobbies, and blocked tenants’ internet. He claims to have cut the cables and cut off the electricity outside the apartment.
Under the Rent Stabilization Act of 2019, landlords facing retaliatory harassment claims have a responsibility to provide a “reliable explanation.” Failure to do so will result in an obligation to provide a new lease or renewal for up to one year.
Leitman-Bailey said he didn’t know how long it would take for the court and administrative lawsuits to resolve, but “it wouldn’t be just a few months.”
“Stay tuned,” said the lawyer.
The time is money However, the Naftali faction has indicated they are willing to wait for Ozsu to come out. The spokesperson said that given that financing and construction costs are currently high and condo sales are sluggish, waiting a year or two for construction to start could actually benefit the project. said there is Naftali said he bought 215 West 84th in June 2021 when borrowing was cheap.
“They are in no rush to start construction,” a spokesperson said.