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Realty Corporation as a “holdover, after the expiration of his lease." Chapter 942 of the laws of 1920 was assailed as unconstitutional, but in rendering its decision, in an opinion written by Judge Pound, the court passed upon Chapters 944 and 947, dealing with “reasonable" rental and with ejectment, as well, sustaining them all.

Guttag v. Shatzkin, 230 N. Y. 647, a case in which the constitutionality of Chapter 947 was upheld upon the opinion of Judge Pound in the Durham Realty Corporation case. Judge Crane concurred in the result, but wrote an individual opinion upholding the law upon the ground of the existence of a war emergency.

Levy Leasing Co., Inc., v. Siegel, 230 N. Y. 634, in which the constitutionality of Chapter 944, the “reasonable rent” statute, was upheld upon the opinion of Judge Pound in the Durham Realty Corporation case, and in which Justice McLaughlin expresses a dissenting opinion.76

The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the validity of Chapters 942 and 947 as well as 131 as amended by 951 in the case of the Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman.76 This decision should be read together with the Supreme Court's decision in Block v. Hirsh, decided at the same time (April, 1921), whereby the so-called Ball Amendment, regulating housing in the District of


76 For other decisions upholding these housing laws, see Clemilt Realty Co. v. Wood, 230 N. Y. 646; 810 West End Ave., Inc., v. Stern, 230 N. Y. 652; People ex rel. Rayland Realty Corp. v. Fagan, 230 N. Y. 653; People ex rel. H. D. H. Realty Corp. v. Murphy, 230 N. Y. 654; People ex rel. Ballin v. O'Connell, 230 N. Y. 655.

Reported in 13 Advance Opinions of U. S. Supreme Court, 1920–21, page 539, 41 Supreme Court Reporter, 465.

77 Reported in 13 Advance Opinions of U. S. Supreme Court, 1920–21, page 531, 41 Supreme Court Reporter, 458


Columbia, was upheld. There are pending, undecided, be

, fore the Supreme Court cases involving the constitutionality of Chapter 944 and the further necessity of Chapter 947 of the Laws of 1920. In respect to Chapter 947, the Supreme Court is asked to declare that the emergency has ended and to hold that the law is therefore no longer operative. These cases are set for argument at the November, 1921, Term.





Division of Subject—Possessory Rights Prior to Emer

gency Laws The laws summarized and explained in the previous chapter have been judicially declared to be an effort by the Legislature "to protect the homes of inhabitants of great cities and to prevent landlords from compelling tenants to pay unreasonable rents for their homes.” 1

This definition suggests a simple classification of the subject-matter of the ensuing discussion of the emergency laws. First, there are rights and remedies conferred which may be classified as "possessory”: those which, in the language of the foregoing decision, relate to the protection of the home. Second, there are rights and remedies which may be classified as "regulatory': those which relate to the regulation of rentals and charges for use and occupation. A third group or class may be added, to which the term “remedial” may perhaps be applied: such rights as are given by Chapter 951 of the Laws of 1920, punishing the failure to furnish heat, elevator, telephone or other service, properly belong under this head.

Turning to the “possessory ” rights and remedies, it may be well before proceeding to a detailed statement of the

1 May v. Dermont (App. Term, 1st Dept.), 114 Mişc. 106, 186 N. Y. Supp.



situation of landlord and tenant under the emergency laws, to point out very generally and briefly what their status formerly was.

If the tenant held under a written lease, his rights and obligations were measured by that agreement. The law applied equally to all classes of property, irrespective of whether its use was for residential, business or other purposes. When the lease expired, the tenant had to move. If he did not, the landlord had two alternatives: he could elect to treat the tenant as a trespasser, or could adopt him as a tenant for a further term.? If he chose to treat the tenant as a trespasser, the landlord had the right to recover his property, and damages for its withholding. The usual method of recovery was by summary proceeding, a statutory form of procedure first adopted in this State in 1820, to enable landlords to recover their property more expeditiously than was possible under the common law. The common-law method of recovering real property, by an action of ejectment, also survived, but it usually proved a technical and long-drawn-out process, and was rarely employed between landlord and tenant.

Where there was no written lease, the tenant held, prior to the emergency laws, either as a month to month or as a monthly tenant. In either case, he could only be removed if the landlord gave notice of his election to end the tenancy. This notice had to be of a duration specified by statute, and varying at different times from five to thirty days. When such notice had been given, the landlord could again proceed to recover his property, either by summary proceedings or by an action of ejectment.

* United Merchants' Realty & Imp. Co. v. Roth, 193 N. Y. 570; Adams o. City of Cohoes, 127 N. Y. 175; Schuyler v, Smith, 51 N, Y. 309; Conway v. Starkweather, 1 Den. 113,

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