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Andrew Bittens, a partner at Kucker Marino Winiarsky & Bittens, LLP, won a motion for discovery, and payment of use and occupancy in Missionary Sisters, Inc. c/o Halstead Mgmt. Co., LLC. v. Maureen Kenney and Laura Murphy, a non-primary residence holdover proceeding as well as defeating the tenants’ cross-motion to dismiss the proceeding.

In a cross motion, tenants initially alleged that first, their renewal lease was not timely offered and based thereof, that the notice of nonrenewal of the lease was untimely and second, that the petitioner did not have standing to commence the proceeding. Andrew Bittens successfully showed that, contrary to their motion, in affidavits presented to the court, both tenants acknowledged that renewal leases were timely received. One tenant received the renewal lease and contacted the landlord for a revised lease and the other tenant actually received the renewal lease and promptly returned it with additional security. In doing so, this tenant accepted the offer and was unable to claim that notice was untimely and hence, defective.

The court also denied the tenants’ motion to dismiss on the grounds that the petitioner lacked standing. The tenants initially alleged that the petitioner was not authorized to commence the proceeding, however, RPAPL §721(1) entitles the owner or landlord of the subject premises to bring a summary proceeding. Andrew Bittens effectively established to the court that the owner of the building, not the managing agent, was the party who commenced the hearing, which led the court to deny the tenant’s cross motion to dismiss.