In Garcia, the Appellate Division, First Department, likened the relationship between Columbia University and DASNY as "more akin to that of mortgagor and mortgagee rather than that of traditional owner and tenant" (Garcia, 195 AD2d at 288) because DASNY held title only until the loan on dormitory facilities constructed by DASNY was repaid.Summary of this case from Morris v. City of New York
July 1, 1993
Appeal from the Supreme Court, New York County (Charles E. Ramos, J.).
Defendant provided financing to Columbia University, plaintiff's employer, for the construction of dormitory facilities under an agreement which provides that title will be held by defendant until the loan is repaid. Thus, the relationship between the parties can be said to be more akin to that of mortgagor and mortgagee rather than that of traditional owner and tenant.
A statutory responsibility is imposed on an owner "for the safe maintenance of the building and its facilities" pursuant to Building Code (Administrative Code of City of NY) § 27-128 (Multiple Dwelling Law § 78). However, the owner which has completely parted with possession and control of a building will not be held liable unless it retains a right to enter to make inspection and repairs (Guzman v. Haven Plaza Hous. Dev. Fund Co., 69 N.Y.2d 559, 566). The rights reserved to defendant Authority do not constitute sufficient retention of control to subject the Authority to liability for failure to maintain the premises in good repair (supra). The lease is not a standard leasing agreement, but rather a part of an extensive financing arrangement (see, Green v. Dormitory Auth., 173 A.D.2d 1, 5, lv denied 79 N.Y.2d 756).
Concur — Carro, J.P., Rosenberger, Ellerin, Wallach and Rubin, JJ.