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Rumiche Corp. v. Eisenreich

386 N.Y.S.2d 208 (1976)

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Rumiche Corp. v. Eisenreich

New York Court of Appeals

386 N.Y.S.2d 208 (1976)

Facts

Charles Eisenreich (defendant) lived in a studio apartment in New York City. The building that housed the apartment was purchased by Rumiche Corporation (Rumiche) (plaintiff). Eisenreich informed Rumiche that his ceiling was falling in and asked that it be repaired, but Rumiche did not do so. Eisenreich repaired the ceiling and replaced the defective ceiling-light fixture with a new one. Eisenreich also attached a wooden closet to a wall and put a wooden frame around a window. Rumiche filed a petition to evict Eisenreich, claiming that the light fixture, the closet, and the window frame materially damaged the property. Rumiche relied on a New York City law that allowed for eviction if a tenant willfully violated a substantial obligation of his tenancy. Rumiche alleged that the ceiling repair also provided grounds for eviction under this law because the sheetrock Eisenreich used to repair the ceiling was not thick enough to meet fire-code requirements. Upon learning of his error, Eisenreich offered to redo the ceiling, but Rumiche refused. The trial court granted Rumiche’s petition for eviction, and it was affirmed by the Appellate Term and the Appellate Division, successively. Eisenreich appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fuchsberg, J.)

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