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Marbar, Inc. v. Katz

Civil Court of the City of New York
701 N.Y.S.2d 884 (2000)


Facts

Shelly Katz (defendant) rented an apartment from Marbar, Inc (plaintiff). Katz was a long-term, rent-stabilized tenant. Her lease included use of a backyard and deck, but the deck was old and uneven. When Katz was expecting a baby, she thought the slight gaps between the boards might be hazardous. Katz said she called the landlord to ask if she could replace the deck, but the landlord did not return her call. Katz had friends in the construction business build a new, slightly larger deck. Katz did not know if they removed the old deck or simply built over it. Katz also had a new brick patio installed in the backyard. The landlord claimed that the changes substantially violated Katz’s lease, which required landlord approval for any alterations, and sued to evict Katz as a holdover tenant. Katz countered that the alternations improved and did not harm the property. At trial, before-and-after photographs showed that the new deck and patio were attractive, proportionate, and built in a neatly finished, workmanlike manner.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hoffman, J.)

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