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May 21, 2021 - Michelle Itkowitz Taught CLE for Lawline "Rent Stabilization Master Class"

On May 21, 2021Michelle Itkowitz taught a CLE for Lawline entitled "Rent Stabilization Master Class: High Rent Vacancy Deregulation and Rent Overcharge Issues" 

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May 5, 2021 - Michelle Itkowitz Taught an Accredited Class for the Appraisal Institute "Commercial Tenant Defenses to Nonpayment of Rent Due to the Pandemic"

On May 5, 2021Michelle Itkowitz taught an accredited continuing education class for the Appraisal Institute (Long Island Chapter) entitled "Commercial Tenant Defenses to Nonpayment of Rent Due to the Pandemic". 

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March 19, 2021 - Michelle Itkowitz Taught a CLE for Lawline "Landlord and Tenant Litigation: Bringing the Case to a Satisfying Conclusion"

On March 19, 2021Michelle Itkowitz taught a CLE for Lawline entitled "Landlord and Tenant Litigation: Bringing the Case to a Satisfying Conclusion"

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March 9, 2021 - Michelle Itkowitz Quoted in Brick Underground in a Story About Online Housing Court

On March 9, 2021Michelle Itkowitz was quoted in Brick Underground, for a story entitled "With Housing Court Hearings Online, It May Be Cheaper to Fight Your Landlord". This was her contribution to this interesting article:

Efficiency isn't always preferable

Fees might be lower but attorney Michelle Itkowitz, founder of the Itkowitz law firm, says it takes a lot more than court appearances to fight a case. She points out fact gathering, legal research, analysis, the drafting of motions or opposition to motions, as well as continual work on evolving tenant defenses takes up the bulk of her practice.

"Sure, sitting around court for three billable hours becomes 15 minutes from your computer, that might cut costs but there's no way to quantify it," she says.  In fact, for a case she is working on she says the judge is giving the option of either having a virtual trial on Microsoft teams or waiting until the courts reopen. Itkowitz says it will be up to the client to decide how to go forward but she would encourage him to complete the process remotely. "It will cost him less," she says. However, all this efficiency isn't necessarily in a tenant's favor. Itkowitz says a more efficient virtual process also speeds up the outcome.

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February 19, 2021 - Michelle Itkowitz Taught a CLE for Lawline "Landlord and Tenant Litigation: In the Courtroom"

On February 19, 2021Michelle Itkowitz taught a CLE for Lawline entitled "Landlord and Tenant Litigation: In the Courtroom"

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January 26, 2021 - Michelle Itkowitz Taught a CLE for Lawline "Introduction to Landlord and Tenant Litigation: Getting a Case Started"

On January 26, 2021Michelle Itkowitz taught a CLE for Lawline entitled "Introduction to Landlord and Tenant Litigation: Getting a Case Started". 

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January 14, 2021 - Michelle Itkowitz Taught a CLE for the NY Women's Bas Association "Commercial Tenant Defenses to Nonpayment of Rent Due to the Pandemic"

On January 14, 2021, Michelle Itkowitz taught a CLE for the New York Women's Bas Association entitled "Commercial Tenant Defenses to Nonpayment of Rent Due to the Pandemic". 

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Michelle Itkowitz Contributing to the Treatise "New York Residential Landlord-Tenant Law and Procedure"

In 2020, Michelle Itkowitz was honored to contribute to the leading landlord and tenant law treatise in New York State, the NYSBA's "New York Residential Landlord-Tenant Law and Procedure", written by the Honorable Gerald Lebovits and Damon P. Howard, Esq. The book will be out in 2021. 

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July 8, 2020 - Michelle Itkowitz taught a CLE for the NYSBA "HSTPA One Year Later"

On July 8, 2020, Michelle Itkowitz taught a continuing legal education program for the New York State Bar Association, Real Property Section Summer Meeting, entitled "The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act One Year Later". 

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April 2020 - Michelle Itkowitz Presented Free Zoom on NYC Tenant’s Rights During the Corona Virus Pandemic

In April 2020, Michelle Itkowitz presented a well-attended Zoom presentation for the Tenant Learning Platform, on "NYC Tenant’s Rights During the Corona Virus Pandemic".

March 4, 2020 - Michelle Itkowitz Presented Results of Her 2019 Housing Court Study

On March 4, 2020, Michelle Itkowitz presented the results of a year-long study of published New York City Housing Court decisions from 2019 (“the Study”) at an LNY meetup. At this event, Michelle presented her findings and drew conclusions therefrom, which benefit both landlords and tenants. Here is a link to the full booklet

Over 160 cases are included in the Study. We only considered residential Housing Court cases in NYC (both holdovers and nonpayments). Not commercial cases, not Supreme Court cases, not DHCR cases, not Loft Board cases, not cases from outside the five counties of the City, not appellate cases. We also excluded consideration of Housing Authority cases, because they operate via different rules. This Study is about Housing Court in NYC!

We classified each case into one of 18 types of cases: 

airbnb
chronic nonpay
end-of-lease non-regulated
family eviction
failure to renew Rent Stabilized lease or to complete income certification docs
hoarding
illegal activity
illegal alterations
illegal sublet
illegal unit
licensee holdover
nonpay
non-prime
nuisance
owner's use
pets
post foreclosure
regulatory status
substantial obligation
succession

The Study was about winners and losers. We only considered matters with final dispositions in Housing Court. In other words, we only looked at cases that either ended with a judgment of possession or the case was dismissed. So, for example, we were not examining settlements. Also, for example, we did not include a case if a motion for summary judgment was denied or a motion for discovery was granted, because in such cases the case is not over yet and you cannot tell who will win. Although we did include and classify cases we considered “draws”, i.e. neither landlord nor tenant won. An example of such a case would be where the landlord won the nonpayment case, but for only half the rent. Or the landlord won the hoarder eviction case, but the tenant got six months to cure.

Why study winners and losers in NYC Housing Court? Because Michelle has long maintained that landlords and their lawyers should be making EVIDENCE BASED decisions about litigation, not emotional ones. In most other fields, people use DATA to make decisions. Landlords should as well. This information should be useful to tenants and their counsel as well.

Examples of how you can use data like this to make better decisions:

Legal Aid represented tenants 73% of the time in this Study. And whenever Legal Aid was involved, the tenant won! We examine why that is. Legal Aid has a very careful case evaluation and selection process. Legal Aid is marshaling scares resources. They only come in where they firmly believe they can make a difference. So…if you are a landlord who sees Legal Aid on the other side of your case…maybe you better settle! 

There were approximately seven succession cases in the Study. Landlord won three of them. This tells us that landlords do better than usual in these types of cases. There were approximately 12 regulatory status cases in the Study. Landlord only won once! If your tenant alleges an illegal deregulation –  you are in trouble. 

The results of the Study were not great for landlords, and we consider why. And it is NOT because the Housing Court judges are biased. We make suggestions for how landlords (and tenants) can get better outcomes in Housing Court, based on what the data is telling us.

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February 13, 2020 - Michelle Itkowitz Taught 2-Hour Continuing Ed to NYS Society of CPA's on HSTPA and Rent Stabilization



On February 13, 2020, Michelle Itkowitz taught a two-hour continuing education program for the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Suffolk and Nassau County Chapters at Marcum's Melville office. The title of the presentation was, "A GUIDE TO THE 2019 HOUSING STABILITY AND TENANT PROTECTION ACT for Multifamily Owners, Operators, and Lenders, for Accountants, and for Residential Tenants". A full copy of the materials, which are 37 substantive pages, is available here. An excerpt is available here


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