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Roomates case goes to the Supreme Court.

The law firm representing the Rent Stabilization Association in its fight against tenant succession is asking the United States Supreme Court to review the matter.

Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court on March 21 and the group of tenant attorneys have requested 30 days to respond.

Late last year, an appeals court ruled against the RSA in the case entitled Rent Stabilization Association v. Richard Higgins. The State Court of Appeals essentially upheld the right of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) to issue regulations regarding who would have the right to an apartment once the original tenant moved out.

The regulations were initially intended to protect the surviving companions of gay couples, but expanded to include nearly anyone that shares a checking account or apartment and holds themselves up as a family unit. This effectively cut off owners from refurbishing and upgrading vacant apartments and re-renting them at rents closer to covering actual costs.

According to Martin J. Heistein, a partner with Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman, once the papers are all in, the U.S. Supreme Court justices will make a decision as to whether or not they will hear the case. "If they grant the writ, the briefs would be due in the summer and the arguments would be next fall or winter," said Heistein, former in-house counsel to the RSA.
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Title Annotation:Rent Stabilization Association files suit against tenant succession of rent controlled apartments
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Apr 20, 1994
Words:232
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