Can Unlicensed Contractor Work Not for a Tenant's Residence ?

In Ayres v. Dunhill Interiors (138 AD2d 303 [1st Dept 1988]) the unlicensed contractor contended that the plaintiff lived in a different apartment from the one it had worked on and, thus, the plaintiff could not invoke the licensing requirement to defeat the unlicensed contractor's defense. The plaintiff submitted an affidavit stating that she had commenced full-time residence in the subject apartment one year prior to the execution of the contract and had moved into temporary quarters nearby only because the construction work made it impossible to continue residing at the subject apartment. The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, remanded the case to determine whether the plaintiff was an "owner" within the meaning of the Administrative Code stating, " Should the apartment not be plaintiff's residence, the contract ... would be enforceable despite the defendant's lack of license, because no license is required ... where the work is not for a tenant's residence." (Ayres v. Dunhill Interiors, 138 AD2d 303, 305, supra.)