First Department Blesses Customary Rent Prove-Up Practice Utilized by Commercial Landlords
The recent decision in Moon 170 Mercer, Inc. v. Vella, 146 A.D.3d 537, 45 N.Y.S.2d 415 (1st Dep’t 2017) blesses the practice commercial landlords customarily utilize to prove-up the rent for which a tenant or guarantor is liable. In this case, the First Department granted summary judgment to the commercial landlord against the guarantor and held: “[t]he damages calculation spreadsheet on which plaintiff relies in its motion for summary judgment is a ledger maintained in the ordinary course of business…and plaintiff’s vice president’s affidavit explaining the calculations and the spreadsheet suffices to authenticate the document.”
If a trial to establish the rent owed was required, as is often the case, the landlord would have obtained the same result. The ledger would have been entered into evidence through the vice president’s testimony authenticating the document.
Decisions such as this, honoring the best practices that real estate litigators follow on a regular basis, provide well appreciated stability to the court system.