NEW LEASE ON LIFE

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Roughly 52,000 Section 8 tenants in rent stabilized apartments gained a new protection last week, when the New York County Supreme Court ruled against city landlords seeking to exit the federal program. The longstanding conflict revolves around whether landlords are allowed to stop accepting Section 8 once a stabilized tenant’s lease expires. The case, Rosario v. Diagonal Realty, was filed last year by the Legal Aid Society after several landlords declined their tenants’ subsidies [see “Re-leasing Section 8 Tenants, 4/12/04]. In her July 1 decision, Judge Joan A. Madden ruled that the tenants were entitled to renew their leases without any change to their terms and conditions. Jose Saladin, one of the attorneys representing landlords in the case, said it was too early to say if he would appeal. But, he added, there are similar suits still pending. “Even if we didn’t appeal,” he said, “I assume someone else would.” [07/11/05]