The First Department determined the landlord should not have been granted summary judgment. Plaintiff-tenant sought a declaration that it was not responsible for increased real estate taxes related to improvements to the building which benefitted only the landlord and not the tenant. The matter was sent back for a determination whether and to what extent the improvements benefitted only the landlord:
The Court of Appeals has made clear that “[i]t is not the aim of . . . a [tax escalation] clause . . . to impose upon the tenant responsibility for increases in real estate taxes resulting from improvements on the property redounding solely to the benefit of the landlord” … .
The motion court incorrectly found that this principle was limited to circumstances where the improvement involved a vertical or horizontal enlargement of the building. … The improvement at issue is a renovation solely of the residential aspects of the building. Plaintiff is a commercial tenant. Our declaration here simply states the well settled principle regarding tax escalation clauses. Enchantments Inc. v 424 E. 9th LLC2015 NY Slip Op 05409, 1st Dept 6-23-15