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Old 09-25-2011, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Queens, NY
11 posts, read 38,506 times
Reputation: 31

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What can I do about a tenant who I cannot get out of my basement apartment? She has not paid rent for 4 months since she was given notice to leave. She was served with a 30 days’ notice to leave at the end of August but she refuses to leave. She has taken up her 5 year old son from Jamaica who is not in school and did a business marriage to get a social security number. She is very loud: disturbing the neighbors, taking in friends and bragging that she knows the law. We are scheduled to go back to trial on Oct 14th and at the first hearing a week ago, she informed the Judge that she prefers to leave on Nov 14th (but I believe she has something up her sleeves’, because she is a professional tenant.)

I am a young single woman who is going back to school and just cannot afford to carry this tenant, her son and her friends. I am not a confrontational person and just don't have the energy and time to argue with this tenant.

I am smelling gas and need to give the gas company access to investigate, but she refuses access.

I do not need any help, I just NEED this tenant out like yesterday. Any guidance and advice would be greatly appreciated. HELP!
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:38 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 62,185,436 times
Reputation: 26588
If you smell gas and she refuses access to the gas company then I suggest you call the PD immediately.

Did you hire an attorney for the eviction? If so you should contact him or her immediately. If not, it might be prudent for you to at least have a consultation with an attorney who specializes in rental disputes. To survive as a landlord you don't have to have a confrontational nature but you absolutely should know all the legalities involved. I'm assuming by the way that your basement apartment is legal? Good luck.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Queens, NY
11 posts, read 38,506 times
Reputation: 31
Thanks for your response. By PD, do you mean police department? Unfortunately the apartment is said to be illegal. I purchased the home with the basement apartment 2 years ago "as is."

Yes, I have an eviction attorney.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,274 posts, read 6,018,913 times
Reputation: 2539
You're screwed. Sorry.

Seriously -- being an illegal apartment makes this a whole other ballgame, not in your favor.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:33 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 62,185,436 times
Reputation: 26588
Yes, I was referring to the Police Department. Does your "eviction attorney" know that the apartment could be illegal? Here's a link which will help you determine whether or not your apartment is illegal and also goes into the rights of landlords and tenants in an illegal apartment. This is something you should have looked into when you bought the property as it's rather a messy situation and you could end up having a heavy fine to pay. Anyway, the horse has already left the barn so best you start doing some serious research to see how you can extricate yourself from the situation with the least amount of damages. Good luck!

Official Illegal Apartments Page of the Queens Borough President's Office, New YorkCity Local Government
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Queens, NY
11 posts, read 38,506 times
Reputation: 31
Yes, the Attorney agrees that the apartment is illegal and as such we are not looking to collect but to regain possession of. I have offered to pay the tenant to leave but she refused to... I have had the stove and standing shower removed and she took me to housing court and I was asked by the Judge to restore her until she leaves... but she continues to find loopholes around the system to buy time.

Would I have a case in reporting her to children services for the 5 year old child that she now has living with her in the basement that is not going to school? She has also done a business marriage in order to get her green card, but does not live with the husband. Isn`n that considered fraud?
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:53 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 62,185,436 times
Reputation: 26588
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodnessGracious View Post
Yes, the Attorney agrees that the apartment is illegal and as such we are not looking to collect but to regain possession of. I have offered to pay the tenant to leave but she refused to... I have had the stove and standing shower removed and she took me to housing court and I was asked by the Judge to restore her until she leaves... but she continues to find loopholes around the system to buy time.

Would I have a case in reporting her to children services for the 5 year old child that she now has living with her in the basement that is not going to school? She has also done a business marriage in order to get her green card, but does not live with the husband. Isn`n that considered fraud?
Well, she bragged about knowing the law and obviously she's had practice and knows it better than you do. Removing the stove and the shower were self-help remedies which obviously and rightly backfired on you which is why you really should start boning up on what you can and cannot do before you end up in a lot more trouble than you're in right now. Stop thinking up devious ways to retaliate as they too can backfire on you with a vengeance. Reporting her to CS or reporting her for immigration fraud isn't going to get you your apartment back ...

If I were in your situation I would plead ignorance (which at least seems to have been the case initially) and "turn in" your illegal apartment yourself. It will be condemned and your tenant will be forced to vacate. You may have to to pay a fine but I'd wager a good bet that it'll be a lot less than what you'll end up paying when the borough realizes either through your eviction hearing or via the tenant herself (NOT an uncommon occurrence) that you knowingly rented out an illegal dwelling. Get that cleared up and you may have the opportunity to properly renovate the apartment if necessary, have it inspected and declared legal. Then either learn how to be a landlord or have a property management company handle it for you.

Last edited by STT Resident; 09-25-2011 at 06:05 PM..
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Queens, NY
11 posts, read 38,506 times
Reputation: 31
Harsh but makes sense. Just to be clear, the stove and standing shower were removed because the tenant called 311. I did plead ignorance when she took me to court to be restored, and the judge said that in the future I should do a better background search (although she came through Century 21 Realty). The judge also said that I could not remove the items without court order (even though she called 311) . The judge did state that he could have me fined and report it to the building department, but he was sympathetic (my opinion) and did not report it or issued a fine -- hence my Attorney is saying that judgment cannot be overruled by another judge.

The tenant had also called the cops regarding the removal of the stove, etc back in July, and I was issued a summons by the cops for "illegal eviction" to appear in building court 9/23. The building court however transferred the case to the criminal court which dismissed the case as mischievous.

As mentioned in my earlier post, I am due back in Court on 10/14 for the trial part for the eviction process, so it never ends....

Are you saying that I can still be fined?
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:54 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 23,738,529 times
Reputation: 8987

Do they have a page for "how to find affordable housing when there is so much regulation it's hard to find"?
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:57 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 23,738,529 times
Reputation: 8987
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodnessGracious View Post
.

The tenant had also called the cops regarding the removal of the stove, etc back in July, and I was issued a summons by the cops for "illegal eviction" to appear in building court 9/23. The building court however transferred the case to the criminal court which dismissed the case as mischievous.

It's considered a "constructive eviction" when you do things (like remove major appliances) that render a unit uninhabitable.
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