Paul N. Gruber
Paul N. Gruber is a partner of the Firm in the Appellate Division. He has represented property owners in hundreds of appeals and related matters at all levels of Appellate Courts in New York during his twenty years of practice. He has received numerous favorable decisions from the Appellate Courts in areas as diverse as primary residence, rent regulations, lease construction, nonpayment litigation and loft regulation.
Mr. Gruber is a contributing author to Treiman’s Landlord and Tenant Monthly and has also published articles in the Real Property Law Journal of the New York State Bar Association. He is also a presenter in Continuing Legal Education presentations sponsored by the New York County Lawyers’ Association and New York State Bar Association as well as Co-Chair of the Committee on Landlord and Tenant Proceedings for the New York State Bar Association.
Mr. Gruber has been the lead or co-counsel on the following important cases:
In 129 v. Levy, the judge found that the tenant engaged in conduct that constituted a nuisance but felt that it was best addressed by awarding her a two year probationary stay. The Appellate Term, in an earlier appeal, remanded the matter back to the judge for further factual findings. She adhered to and expanded on her finding of nuisance and her choice of remedy. The Appellate Term reversed and permits the landlord to recover possession of the premises. It held that no stay of any kind was warranted based on the court’s fact findings. The court further ruled that the absence of any incidents during the probationary period did not dictate a different result.
- Silverman v D’Arco – (November 29, 2016) In this decision, the Appellate Division upheld the ejectment of a stabilized tenant for repeated failure to abide by orders directing the payment of use and occupancy. The court noted that it was appropriate for the lower court to strike the tenant’s answer for willful and contumacious conduct – a standard usually seen in discovery contexts. The decision also notes what can constitute sufficient proof of non-payment of rent.
- Berezanskiy v. Daddy O’s BBQ & Sports Bar – In this commercial holdover proceeding, respondents sought a stay of execution of the warrant of eviction because they are in negotiations to buy the mortgage notes from the bank that is foreclosing on the note. The net result would have been that the respondent would have stayed in possession, without satisfying the judgment, almost $200K, while becoming the holder of the note and foreclosing on the LL. The Judge denied the OSC.
- 1650 Realty Associates LLC v. Ibrahim Sasoun and “Jane Doe” – (June 22, 2016) This was a decision of the Appellate Term Second Department upholding the grant of summary judgment in a failure to renew proceeding. The tenant did not sign the renewal during the cure period and was evicted. The appellate court found there was no admissible evidence submitted to oppose the motion.
DDG Warren LLC v Assouline Ritz 1, LLC – RPAPL 881 permits a landowner to commence a special proceeding to obtain a license to enter into adjacent land if it is necessary to make repairs or improvements to its property. It is frequently used these days by developers to erect new structures on this land. In DDG Warren LLC v. Assouline Ritz I LLC, where our firm represented the board of managers of a condominium adjacent to a development site, the Supreme Court awarded a license conditioned upon insurance, the posting of a bond, and the payment of the legal and engineering fees incurred by the board of managers and certain affected unit owners. It declined to award a license fee
One of the unit owners, which had been the sponsor and whose property would be significantly encumbered for at least 30 months, appealed the denial of the license fee. The developer appealed the requirement of a bond and the award of legal fees.
The Appellate Division modified the order to award the license fee and upheld the grant of the other relief. The panel held that the court had discretion under the statute to award a license fee and that the circumstances permitted it. The panel also concluded there was no abuse of discretion in awarding legal fees and requiring a bond. This decision represents the most thorough exploration of the statute by the First Department to date and, with respect to the license fee, is of first impression at the appellate level. This case was argued by partner Paul N. Gruber. Partner David Brody was lead attorney in the Supreme Court.
42nd and 10th Associates, LLC, Petitioner-Landlord-Respondent, against Henry Izeki, Respondent-Tenant-Appellant, and “John Doe” and/or “Jane Doe,” Respondents-Undertenants.(December 30th 2015). In an AIRBNB short term stay case tried and won by Borah Goldstein before Judge Jack Stoller and appealed by the tenant, the Appellate Term affirmed the lower court in favor of the landlord.
- 80-02 v. CM Realty — (December 17, 2014) involved a claim for rent against the principal of a shell corporation that was dissolved by proclamation prior to the making of the lease. The Appellate Division held that the principal of the corporation was liable for the sums sought by the landlord.
- FM United v. Dule-Wollin – Decisions (December 24, 2014) and ( December 17, 2014) Restated that the settled rule that the renewal of a rent stabilized lease during the pendency of a holdover proceeding based upon the breach of a substantial obligation of the tenancy does not vitiate the landlord’s claim.
- Fort Washington Holdings LLC v. Maurice Abbott – (July 31, 2014) Landlord obtained a favorable jury verdict on a rent controlled succession case involving a nephew.
- 104 West 27 th Street Realty Inc. v. Lim – (October 24, 2013) Upheld judgment in excess of $400,000 against the guarantor of a commercial lease where there had been a change in the amount of space made after the guaranty was executed where guaranty stated it applied in the event the lease was modified.
- Piller v. Marsam Realty 13 th Avenue LLC – (October 23, 2013) Held that a prospective purchaser of two apartment buildings in Brooklyn was not entitled to specific performance of a letter of intent affording him the opportunity to enter into a purchase agreement and close on the properties by a date certain upon certain terms where the letter of intent did not include all the necessary terms of a contract for the sale of real property, where the purchaser continued to negotiate terms up to the day scheduled for closing and where funds were not available until after the day scheduled for closing.
- Lee v. DHCR , 73 A.D. 3d 778 (2d Dep’t 2010). DHCR directed to re-open rent overcharge proceedings to consider leases and other rent history that was first submitted by the owner to DHCR on a post petition application to the agency where the owner offered a credible explanation for not submitting the material earlier and the evidence demonstrated that there was likely no overcharge.
- 985-987 First Avenue LLC v. Aretakis , 25 Misc.3d 62 (App. T. 1 st Dep’t 2009). Recovered rent stabilized apartment from attorney on nonprimary residence grounds where documentary evidence connected him to an upstate residence owned by his wife notwithstanding his claims they maintained separate residences and that he used apartment for his law practice. The court noted the absence of electrical usage and the tenant’s failure to seek enforcement of a court order directing the landlord supply a working refrigerator.
- Wassfam LLC v. Ude, 26 Misc.3d 90 (App. T. 1 st Dep’t 2009). Obtained a final judgment of possession against a tenant who was given a lease in a building subject to rent stabilization solely due to its receipt of J-51 benefits where the tax benefit had expired and the stipulation affording him tenancy rights erroneously prescribed that he would receive a rent stabilized lease.
- 315 E. 72 nd Street Owners Inc. v. Siegel , 22 Misc.3d 10 (App. T. 1 st Dep’t 2008). Succession rights denied to the grandson of a deceased rent stabilized tenant where the grandson had resided with his parents in Florida, returned to New York prior to commencing college in New York, resided in campus housing while in college and stayed in his grandmother’s apartment shortly before starting college and during breaks and occasional weekends.
- Goldman v. LaFollette Corp., NYLJ June 4, 2002 p. 15 col. 1 (App. T. 1st Dep’t) and Herald Towers, LLC v. Jeet International, Ltd. NYLJ, Jan. 24, 2002 p. 19 col. 4 (App. T. 1st Dep’t). Recovered possession of rent stabilized apartments let to corporate tenants as nonprimary residents.
- DK Property Inc. v. MeKong Restaurant Corp. , 187 Misc. 2d 610 (App. T. 1st Dep’t 2001). Liberalized standard for holdover notices in commercial proceedings.
- Goldman v. Becraft, NYLJ July 13, 2001 p. 18 col. 2 (App. T. 1st Dep’t). Rejected the tenant’s effort to avoid defending a primary residence case on the merits when owner inadvertently accepted rent prior to commencement of the holdover proceeding.
- Pleasant East Associates v. Soto, NYLJ May 13, 1996 p. 28 col. 2 (App. T. 1st Dep’t). Affirmed jury verdict evicting tenant for drug activity committed by her former boyfriend in the apartment.
- DBL Realty Co. v. Zavala , 166 Misc. 2d 736 (App. T. 1st Dep’t 1995). Vacated rent overcharge award predicated upon late DHCR registration as violative of 1993 Rent Regulation Reform Act.
- Teichman v. Ciapi , 160 Misc. 2d 182 (App. T. 1st Dept 1994). Permitted an owner’s own use proceeding to go forward on notice of nonrenewal alleging minimal facts.
- Cyline Properties Co. v. Rubin, NYLJ February 15, 1994 p. 28 col. 4 (App. T. 1st Dep’t) – First Appellate ruling holding that a nonprimary residence case may be maintained against nonpurchasing rent regulated tenant under a noneviction cooperative conversion plan.
- Baer v. Gotham Craftsman , 154 Misc. 2d 490 (App. T. 1st Dep’t 1992). Established that a loft landlord is permitted to seek rent where noncompliance with the legalization timetable of statute is due to the city’s failure to entertain applications or issue regulations.
- Briar Hill Apartments Co. v. Teperman, 165 A.D.2d 519 (1st Dept’ 1991). Established criteria to determine non-primary residence issues.
- Goho Equities v. Weiss , 149 Misc. 2d 628 (App. T. 1st Dep’t 1991). Established that a loft landlord need not refund rents collected when not in compliance with legalization timetable.
- Sohn v. Calderon , 78 N.Y.2d 755 (1991). Established areas where administrative agencies have exclusive jurisdiction.
- Beaux Arts Properties Co. v. Whalen, NYLJ Jan. 12, 1990 p. 21 col. 2 (App. T 1st Dep’t). First Appellate decision to authorize attorneys to issue rent demands.
- Rose Associates v. Lewandowski, NYLJ Nov. 1, 1989 p. 21 col. 1 (App. T. 1st Dep’t). First Appellate decision indicating that a notice of nonrenewal in a primary residence proceeding is sufficient if it alleges only an alternate address where the landlord believes the tenant resides.
- New York Law School, J.D. (cum laude) – 1984
- Brooklyn College, B.A. (magna cum laude) – 1981
- New York – 1985
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District – 1985
- U.S. District Court, Southern District – 1985
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit – 1985
- New York County Lawyers’ Association
- New York State Bar Association
Publications & Press:
- June 6, 2015 Partner Paul Gruber was quoted in the “Ask Real Estate” column in “The New York Times”, in the segment ” Removing an Adult Son From a Rental“.
- May 2, 2015 – Partner Paul Gruber was quoted in the “Ask Real Estate” column in “The New York Times”, in the segment “ A Crowded One Bedroom“.
- “IN RE FORT WASHINGTON HOLDINGS, LLC, pet-res, v. MAURICE ABBOTT, res-res”, Paul N. Gruber’s recent decision is featured in the August 4, 2014, “New York Law Journal.” (access accessible to NYLJ subscribers).
- ” Nephew Didn’t Prove Financial Ties”, August 2014 edition of Landlord v. Tenant. Paul N. Gruber’s recent decision is highlighted. (article access only available to Landlord v. Tenant subscribers. You may access decision here)
- “Deciding Whether to Try or Settle a Non-Payment Case“ Q&A with Paul Gruber (access to full article currently accessible only to subscribers of Apartment Law Insider).
- September 18, 2014 – Partner Paul N. Gruber spoke at The New York State Bar Association Real Property Law Section-Landlord and Tenant Proceedings and Committee. He presented on the topic “Recent Developments in Landlord and Tenant Law; Cases and Statutory Commentary”.