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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

Michelle NAPPI, Plaintiff–Appellant, v. COMMUNITY ACCESS, INC., et al., Defendants–Respondents.


Decided: February 19, 2019

Richter, J.P., Manzanet–Daniels, Kapnick, Gesmer, Oing, JJ. Michelle Nappi, appellant pro se. Charles McMellon, New York, for Community Access, Inc., respondent. Sperber Denenberg & Kahan, P.C., New York (Eric H. Kahan of counsel), for Eight Cooper Equities, LLC, respondent.

Defendant Community Access, Inc. (Community Access) is a not-for-profit organization that enters into agreements with government agencies to lease apartments from private landlords using government funding, to provide stipends for housing for its clients.  Defendant Eight Cooper Equities, LLC (Eight Cooper) entered into a rent stabilized lease with Community Access for an apartment in its building.  Plaintiff was a client of Community Access at the time, and lived in the Eight Cooper apartment pursuant to a sublease.  The relationship between plaintiff and Eight Cooper subsequently deteriorated, and the landlord decided not to extend a renewal lease to Community Access.  Plaintiff was offered an opportunity to relocate, pursuant to the housing program, but she declined.  She was subsequently discharged from the program, with a right to be reinstated upon compliance with the program's minimum requirements.

Defendants demonstrated, as a matter of law that plaintiff has no established rights to the subject apartment, because the lease between Community Access and Eight Cooper did not name her, or specify that she, or any particular individual or group of individuals was intended to live in the subject apartment (Manocherian v. Lenox Hill Hosp., 229 A.D.2d 197, 204–205, 654 N.Y.S.2d 339 [1st Dept. 1997], lv denied 90 N.Y.2d 835, 660 N.Y.S.2d 710, 683 N.E.2d 332 [1997] ).  Further, Community Access was justified in terminating plaintiff's sublease based upon her failure to comply with the program's requirements and her failure to allow basic access by the landlord to the apartment for necessary repairs and health-related inspections.

We modify that portion of the action seeking declaratory relief only to declare in defendants' favor (see Lanza v. Wagner, 11 N.Y.2d 317, 334, 229 N.Y.S.2d 380, 183 N.E.2d 670 [1962], cert denied 371 U.S. 901, 83 S.Ct. 205, 9 L.Ed.2d 164 [1962] ).

We have considered plaintiff's remaining arguments and find them unavailing.