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Owner awarded possession.

Owner awarded possession

Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman commenced a non-primary residence holdover proceeding on behalf of the holder of unsold shares against a residential tenant occupying an apartment owned by Park Hill Associates. After a trial before the Honorable Jose Rodriguez in the Civil court of the City of New York, County of New York, the owner prevailed and was awarded a final judgment of possession, together with a judgment for all of the back rent and ongoing rent, as well as an award of attorneys' fees.

After discovery and preparation for trial, the owner was able to establish that the tenant filed tax returns listing another address as her residence and received monthly statements from American Express, Visa, retail establishments and her broker from the alternative address.

This trial was unique in the use of a taped conversation between the tenant and a private investigator. During the taped conversation, the tenant stated that her home address was an address other than the apartment that the owner sought to recover.

Joseph Burden, the trial attorney for the owner, stated that the use of private investigators to record the respondent admitting that she lived at another address was crucial to proving the issue before the Court. The Judge reviewed the law, admitted the tape into evidence and played the tape in Court during the trial. Since the tape was an admission by the tenant, it became admissible evidence.

Burden added that owners bringing primary residence proceedings must realize that there are various sources of supporting evidence available. Since the owner has the burden of proof to establish non-primary residence, it is important that all possible sources be used, including charge accounts, banking records, investigative reports, brokerage accounts, etc. and, if necessary, audio or video surveillance, to establish the tenant's primary residence.
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Title Annotation:Park Hill Associates awarded possession, rent and attorneys' fees
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Dec 18, 1991
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