In<em> <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Ghodbane-v.-111-John-Realty-Corp..pdf">Ghodbane v. 111 John Realty Corp.</a>, </em>the Appellate Division, First Department recently addressed whether summary judgment awarded to an out of possession landlord was appropriate. In that case, the owner leased the premises to 7-Eleven and the premises were subsequently damaged. 7-Eleven hired a contractor to perform renovation work, after which the plaintiff, who was an employee of 7-Eleven, slipped and fell on a staircase leading to the basement. Plaintiff sued the owner, contractor and property manager. The Supreme Court denied summary judgment as to the contractor but granted the owner and property manager’s motion.
The First Department affirmed, holding, among other things, that the owner established its entitlement to judgment by demonstrating that it was an out-of-possession landlord, and that its lease with 7-Eleven imposed no contractual obligation to maintain or repair the premises. The owner also established that it did not create or have notice of the allegedly hazardous condition on the staircase.
The <em>Ghodbane</em> decision highlights that the language in a lease between a landlord and tenant can be important in determining the liability of an out of possession landlord. The absence or presence of language concerning the maintenance of the premises may control and should be considered in evaluating liability in a case.
Thanks to Corey Morgenstern for his contribution to this post. Please contact <a href="mailto:email@example.com">Andrew Gibbs</a> with any questions.