Michael P. Kozek founded Ween & Kozek with the goal of providing dedicated, high-quality representation to tenants, artists, and entrepreneurs. Mr. Kozek’s practice highlights real estate, trusts and estates, and art law.
Mr. Kozek’s approach to litigation incorporates vigorous advocacy and application of the law, and the crafting of creative, yet rational and policy-driven arguments that impact the development of the law and future cases.
As a litigator, Mr. Kozek practices in the New York State Court of Appeals, Appellate Division, Appellate Term, Supreme Court, and Surrogate's Court, the New York City Civil Court, Housing Court, as well as administrative proceedings before the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the New York City Loft Board, the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, the New York State Division of Human Rights, the New York City Environmental Control Board, the Board of Standards and Appeals, and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Mr. Kozek handles all aspects of litigation through trial and appeal, including pre-litigation strategy development and litigation preparation, drafting of initiating documents, discovery, pretrial motions, settlement negotiations, trial, and briefing and arguing of appeals.
Mr. Kozek has represented numerous tenants in landlord-tenant disputes, defending tenants from eviction, seeking rent regulation protection under Rent Control, Rent Stabilization and the Loft Law, and recovering damages for rent overcharge. He represents loft tenants, seeking Loft Law protection, and advising and representing them in the complex processes of legalization and transition to rent stabilization under the Loft Law.
Mr. Kozek’s real estate transactional practice has included regular handling of real estate purchases and sales, representation of cooperative and condominium boards, and conversion of real property to condominium or cooperatives though the drafting and filing of an offering plan or application for a no-action letter from the New York State Attorney General.
Mr. Kozek is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School, where he was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, participant in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, and CALI award winner. While attending law school, Mr. Kozek served as a judicial intern for Hon. Gerald Lebovits, of the Civil Court, New York County, during which time he contributed research for an article entitled Drug Holdover Proceedings: An Overview From "Knew " to "Should Have Known, " to "Strict Liability", authored by Hon. Lebovits and Douglass J. Seidman, and published in the New York Real Property Law Journal.
- Matter of Doris, OATH Index Nos. 2542/14 & 2543/14 (July 10, 2015) (holding that lot line windows do not preclude Loft Law coverage): http://archive.citylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/oath/14_Cases/14-2542.pdf
- Matter of Kusyk v New York City Dept. of Bldgs., 130 A.D.3d 50913 N.Y.S.3d 431 (2015): http://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/appellate-division-first-department/2015/112036-11-13165-13164.html (holding that certificate of occupancy for former Loft Law building should be amended to reflect tenants’ legal use of their apartment)
- Matter of Behlke, OATH Index No. 153/15 (Nov. 12, 2014), adopted in part, remanded, Loft Bd. Order No. 4348 (Jan. 15, 2015) (holding that Loft Law filing deadline does not apply to claims for protected occupant status): http://archive.citylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/oath/15_cases/15-153.pdf
- Matter of Gallo, OATH Index No. 2401/13 (Oct. 10, 2014), adopted in part, rejected in part, Loft Board Order No. 4349 (Jan. 15, 2015): http://archive.citylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/oath/13_Cases/13-2401.pdf (obtained, after trial, Loft Law coverage for a three floor building in DUMBO)
- Herrera v. Rossmil Assocs., L.P., 2014 WL 3421056 (N.Y. Sup.) (Trial Order) (Sup. Ct., NY Co., 2014) (holding that, in connection with tenants’ group rent overcharge action, landlord was stayed from commencing any eviction proceedings against tenants and that tenants did not have to sign any renewal leases pending outcome of lawsuit)
- Herrera v. Rossmil Assocs., P., 2015 WL 740899 (N.Y. Sup.) (Trial Order) (Sup. Ct., NY Co. 2015) (holding that pursuant to RPL § 234, landlord may be liable for tenants’ attorneys fees incurred in connection with group rent overcharge action)
- Matter of Tenants of 107-109 West 28th Street (2014) (negotiated landmark settlement of a threatened DHCR demolition proceeding resulting in $5.2 million buyout of four rent stabilized tenants)
- Matter of 135-139 Plymouth St., OATH Index Nos. 1871/12-1896/12, 1898/12-1901/12, 1053/13-1054/13, 1409/13 (Feb. 5, 2013) (granting contested motion to withdraw Loft Board coverage application without prejudice): http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/12_Cases/12-1871.pdf
- Stellweg v. Welch, 2013 WL 6702832 (Sup. Ct., NY Co., Dec. 13, 2013) (holding that co-tenant was required to pay tenant portion of rent arrears and ongoing rent): http://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/other-courts/2013/2013-ny-slip-op-33157-u.html
- Paragon Imaging Group, Ltd v. Scandia Realty Ltd. Partnership, 2013 WL 6902212, 2013 N.Y. Slip Op. 33281 (U) (Sup. Ct., NY Co., 2013): http://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/other-courts/2013/2013-ny-slip-op-33281-u.html
- DiCostanzo v. Jeffrey Ween & Assoc., 35 Misc.3d 148 (A), 954 N.Y.S.2d 758 (App. Term, 2d Dep’t, 2012) http://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/appellate-term-second-department/2012/2012-ny-slip-op-51080-u.html
- Tribeca 103 LLC v. Torreano and Panas, L&T Index No. 62285/2012 (Civ. Ct., NY Co., 2012) (dismissing failure to renew rent stabilized lease holdover on grounds that Rent Guidelines Board long term vacancy allowances to not apply to former Loft Law units)
- Matter of 22 CPS Owner, LLC, DHCR Admin. Rev. Dkt. No. YJ410031RO (Jan. 13, 2012) (holding that luxury deregulation under the Rent Stabilization Law is inapplicable to tenant who became stabilized solely by virtue of the receipt of J51 tax benefits)
- 22 CPS Owner LLC v. Carter, 84 A.D.3d 456 (1st Dep't, 2011)
- Green 333 Corp. v. Kwinter, 27 Misc.3d 1225 (A) (Civ. Ct., NY Co., 2010) (dismissing holdover petition for failure to sign an initial lease upon transition of tenant's apartment from Loft Law to Rent Stabilization Law coverage on the grounds that the Rent Stabilization Code does not permit eviction for refusal to sign an unlawful initial lease)
- Tenants and Neighbors, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, with Michael McKee: Tenants & Neighbors With Michael P. Kozek, Esq
- Loft Law and Order, Bel-Air, with Giovanni Muniz: MP3
- The Case for Hiring a Lawyer, J. Plambeck, New York Times (Sept. 29, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/realestate/the-case-for-hiring-a-lawyer-getting-started.html
- The Art of Digging In, P. Green, New York Times (April 24, 2013): http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/greathomesanddestinations/the-art-of-digging-in.html
- How the Loft Lost its Soul: The condominiumization of the warehouse dream, K. Chayka, com/reform (Nov. 18, 2014): https://medium.com/re-form/how-the-loft-lost-its-soul-98766ebbe258
- Buying Apartment Buildings in New York and Beyond in a Strategic Bet, J. Morrissey, New York Times (April 1, 2015): http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/business/smallbusiness/buying-apartment-buildings-in-new-york-and-beyond-in-a-strategic-bet.html
- Loft Tenants Get Another Shot at Legalization Their Homes, A. Zimmer, DNAinfo (July 8, 2015): http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150708/williamsburg/loft-tenants-get-another-shot-at-legalizing-their-homes
Mr. Kozek is a regular contributor to the New York Times “Ask Real Estate” column:
- Buying an Energy Hog, New York Times (March 23, 2014) (discussing responsibility for water damage in a cooperative): http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/realestate/buying-an-energy-hog.html
- Dealing with Barking Dogs: Questions About Noise, Appliances and Common Charges, New York Times (July 6, 2014) (discussing rent stabilized tenant’s right to install a dish-washer): http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/realestate/questions-about-noise-appliances-and-common-charges.html
- Renovating a Kitchen as a Renter: Questions About Renovations, Mortgage Servicing and Building Management, New York Times (July 20, 2014) (discussing whether a rent stabilized tenant has a right to renovate a kitchen): http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/realestate/questions-about-renovations-mortgage-servicing-and-building-management.html
- Summer in a Hot, Stuffy Bedroom, New York Times (June 28, 2015) (discussing whether a rent stabilized tenant has a right to air conditioning): http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/realestate/summer-in-a-hot-stuffy-bedroom.html
Mr. Kozek maintains a blog (nyctenantlawyer.blogspot.com) posting articles regarding real estate litigation and tenant advocacy, wherein he has published several articles relating to such issues as the 2010 amendment to the New York City Loft Law, and the 2011 extension of the rent regulation laws.
Mr. Kozek is a regular volunteer at the Housing Conservation Coordinator's free Monday night legal clinic, and as a member of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, has represented numerous artists pro bono.
Areas of Practice
- Loft Law
- Real Estate Law
- Landlord-Tenant Law
- Art Law
- Trusts and Estates
- Foreclosure Defense
- Land Use and Zoning
- New York, 2009
- Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York - 2009
- Honors: Member, Moot Court Honor Society
- Honors: 2008 Philip C. Jessup Int'l Law Moot Court Competition & CALI Award Winner
Professional Associations and Memberships
- New York State Bar Association, Real Property Law Section, Member
- New York County Lawyers Association, Real Property Law Section, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- New York City Bar Association, Member