54 55 STREET CO v. TORRES

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Supreme Court, Appellate Term, New York,

54-55 STREET CO., Petitioner-Landlord-Respondent, v. Jose Luis TORRES, Alvin Leonard & Michael Tucker, Respondents-Tenants-Appellants.

Decided: January 17, 1997

Before OSTRAU, P.J., and McCOOE and FREEDMAN, JJ. Jose L. Torres and others, appellants pro se. Thomas Hoffman, New York City, for appellants. Stempel Bennett Claman & Hochberg, New York City (Richard L. Claman and Joelle B. Taub, of counsel), for respondent.

Order dated July 17, 1996 (Leona Freedman, J.) affirmed, with $10 costs.

We reject, as did Civil Court, the jurisdictional argument raised by the commercial tenants in defense of this holdover proceeding.   While the tenants in their moving papers below appropriately conceded the validity of the landlord's cure and termination notices (dated April 4 and April 15, 1996, respectively), tenants nonetheless argued that the landlord's initial March 25, 1996 notice of default was a “nullity” because signed by the landlord's managing agent, rather than a principal of the corporate landlord itself.   The record establishes, however, that this same managing agent had billed tenants for rent over at least a three-month period before issuance of the March 25, 1996 notice of default, and no basis is shown for tenants to have doubted the managing agent's authority to bind the landlord.   In these circumstances, the default notice was legally sufficient to advise the tenants of their lease violation (see, Melohn v. Guy, NYLJ, March 21, 1989, at 21, col 2 [App Term, 1st Dept];  see also, Kwong v. Eng, 183 A.D.2d 558, 583 N.Y.S.2d 457).   The situation here is to be distinguished from that presented in Siegel v. Kentucky Fried Chicken, 108 A.D.2d 218, 488 N.Y.S.2d 744, affd 67 N.Y.2d 792, 501 N.Y.S.2d 317, 492 N.E.2d 390, where an attorney unknown to the tenant had given default and termination notices without proof of authority.

Inasmuch as tenants have presented no cognizable substantive defense, summary judgment of possession was properly awarded to landlord on the holdover petition.

PER CURIAM: