Loft Law Group Scores Appellate Victory
The Appellate Division, First Department has reversed the Loft Board and for the first time held that Loft Law protected occupancy claims must be denied as a matter of law when the claimant has deducted rent as a business expense on their tax returns. The Loft Board had erroneously granted protected occupancy to the tenants even though their claims that they primarily resided in the unit contradicted their tax returns, on which the tenants deducted rent for the unit as a business expense. The Loft Board argued that these inconsistent positions should not bar the tenants’ claims. The Owner appealed. The Appellate Division unanimously reversed the Loft Board’s order on this issue, annulling the Loft Board’s determination that the tenants qualified for protected occupancy rights under the Loft Law.