Guardianship Proceedings

On occasion, we are required to attend Supreme Court to represent the interests of a Landlord in the context of a proceeding brought by either a relative of the Tenant, or the New York City Department of Social Services, seeking to appoint a Guardian of the person and property of the Tenant, a person who is alleged to be incapable of representing his or her own interests. This proceeding, known as an Article 81 Guardianship proceeding, while addressed primarily to the needs of an allegedly incapacitated person, will of necessity affect the relationship existing between the Landlord and the allegedly incapacitated person. The Landlord’s involvement usually results from Housing Court litigation with the person for whom the Article 81 Guardian is now sought. The Order appointing a Guardian for the Tenant will typically stay any pending Landlord/Tenant litigation and require any further actions by the Landlord with respect to the Tenant be approved in advance by the Court. The Landlord’s interests in these cases must be represented for the Landlord to receive the benefits to which it is entitled as a result of the Landlord/Tenant relationship, including payment of rent, and/or ultimately recapture of possession of the apartment of the Tenant, if that Tenant is indeed incapable of continuing to reside in the apartment. That determination is ultimately made by the Court within the context of the Article 81 proceeding in which medical and/or psychiatric testimony is often the critical or dispositive factor.

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