1915 16th St. Co-operative Ass'n v. Pinkett
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
85 A.2d 58 (1951)
In July 1950, John Pinkett, Jr. (defendant) entered into an agreement to purchase a cooperative apartment for $7,950. Pinkett made an initial payment of $500 and agreed to pay $90 each month thereafter. At the time of settlement, Pinkett received a certificate of ownership and a proprietary lease agreement. The proprietary lease agreement contained a provision establishing that Pinkett had the right to own and use the cooperative apartment as long as he remained a member of the cooperative corporation’s association and abided by the terms of the proprietary lease agreement. The proprietary lease agreement also provided that the agreement could be terminated by the cooperative association if Pinkett defaulted on any of his payment obligations. Pinkett paid two monthly installments of $90 and then defaulted on his payment obligations. The 1915 16th St. Co-operative Ass’n (the 1915 Co-operative) (plaintiff) filed suit for possession, alleging that Pinkett was in possession of a leasehold interest and had defaulted on his rental payments. Pinkett denied that he was a tenant and denied that he was in default on rental payments, asserting that the sums paid pursuant to the proprietary lease agreement were toward the purchase price and not rent. The municipal court held that although the relationship between Pinkett and the 1915 Co-operative was similar to a landlord-tenant relationship, it was more akin to a partnership and, therefore, the 1915 Co-operative could not sue for summary possession. The 1915 Co-operative filed an appeal.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cayton, C.J.)
Dissent (Hood, J.)
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