Terminating A Current Lease When The Tenant Dies
A tenant died and the landlord brought a summary proceeding against the deceased tenant's son who was occupying the rent stabilized apartment.
All papers were served on the deceased tenant's son.
After a civil court trial, the son lost and appealed the judgment.
The New York Appellate Term, Second Department reversed the final judgment in favor of the deceased tenant's son. See Visutton Assoc. v. Fastman, 44 Misc.3d 56 (Sup. Ct. App. Term, 2d Dept. 2014).
The reason the decision was reversed was because the landlord did not sue the proper party. The son did not represent the deceased tenant's estate. The estate was a necessary party.
The Court held that where there was no surrender of possession, the lease of a deceased tenant could decedent prior to its expiration, could not be terminated without bringing the decedent's estate into the action as a respondent. Id. The Court noted that since an "estate" is not a legal person, then the executor or administrator would be named in the action in that capacity.