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Mon Dec 28, 2020, 02:26 PM

Are there any exceptions for getting a tenant thrown out in NYC?

Some backstory. It's a three bedroom apartment, and my friend had been living there for several years. The rent was always split three ways, and my friend has had pretty good roommates, who have come and gone. The roommates have never known each other. The landlord for whatever reason, rents to roommates, rather than a family who knows each other.

So one of my friend's roommates is a meth addict. He kept saying crazy stuff to my friend, such as "I can see through your walls, I'm part of MKULTRA." He hasn't paid rent since the first month he moved in (August), and the cops were routinely there. My friend insisted he was getting secondhand high somehow, and just moved in with his father. His other roommate (a good guy) moved out right before him, with the same fears as my friend. The meth addict continues to live there, now with the entire three bedroom house to himself.

The landlord will not be able to replace my friend or the other roommate who moved out, since there is an active addict in the next room (who's gonna want to move in like that?). So now the landlord is out all of the rent. My friend continued to pay his part of the rent, as did the other good roommate who moved out, despite being very uncomfortable, worrying about the addict stealing his stuff and meth smoke going into their rooms. A crack pipe was also found in the living room once, left broken on the floor.

So is there anything the landlord can do? He begged my friend not to move out, but he didn't want to stay there any longer, fearing his life.

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Reply Are there any exceptions for getting a tenant thrown out in NYC? (Original post)
Polybius Dec 2020 OP
Renew Deal Dec 2020 #1
Polybius Dec 2020 #7
happybird Dec 2020 #2
Polybius Dec 2020 #6
unblock Dec 2020 #3
Polybius Dec 2020 #5
unblock Dec 2020 #8
obamanut2012 Dec 2020 #4
greenjar_01 Dec 2020 #9
L.Pharmstrong Dec 2020 #10
Midnight Writer Dec 2020 #11

Response to Polybius (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 02:35 PM

1. I am not an expert on this, but I might know someone that is.

What I know is itís very hard to evict people, even if they are troublemakers. The landlord probably needs to speak with a real estate attorney. There might be something in the lease agreement that can trigger an eviction. I donít know what the less legal ruthless options are.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 04:02 PM

7. The ruthless options aren't gonna happen

The landlord lives with his boyfriend, and both are very nice and peaceful guys, and are not the threatening type at all.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 02:43 PM

2. Is there a "maintaining a drug house" law there?

If so, that could be a possible avenue, especially since the police have already been there multiple times.

My understanding of the moratorium is tenants cannot be evicted for failure to pay rent due to hardship brought on by covid. They have 60 days to apply to the program to prove the reason for their hardship.

Evicting someone for breaking the law or violating other terms of the lease (such as doing or selling drugs on the property) does not appear to be covered.

I also think the landlord is going to need proper legal advice to get this resolved.

What a shitty situation for your friend and the others involved. I hope it can be fixed as soon as possible.

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Response to happybird (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 04:00 PM

6. I'm not really sure about drug house laws in NYC

All I know is that it's very hard to get someone thrown out in NYC, especially now. My friend called the cops on him multiple times when he was smoking meth/crack, but he knows the system. He burns a lot of incents to cover it up, and told the cops it was just that. My friend told the police to check his room, and the cops said unfortunately, they can't without consent.

Thank you for the reply, much appreciated.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 02:48 PM

3. Landlord should talk to a lawyer. Very hard to evict in nyc.

Especially if rent is being paid. Does each roommate have a separate agreement with the landlord? Are the good tenants covering the rent for the meth addict?

Mrs. Unblock and I once thought about becoming landlords at some point as it seemed like buying a two-family house, living in one part and renting out the other seemed to make financial sense. Then we saw the movie "pacific heights". Just a movie, but yeah, that pretty much killed that line of thinking....

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Response to unblock (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 03:55 PM

5. Rent was only getting paid by my friend and the good roommate

The bad roommate paid rent once, right before he moved in July 1st. He paid double, so rent and security (good for July and August). He hasn't paid since.

My friend moved out early this month and is with his dad now. The other good roommate moved out in late November.

I don't know what the rent was (I never asked), but let's say it was $2,400 a month (normal for 3 bedrooms in Staten Island). The two good roommates paid their $800 a month. They always paid individually. So when all three were living there, the landlord got $1,600 a month, rather than $2,400. They were not required to pay the deadbeat's share of the rent. Now the landlord is getting $0.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 04:09 PM

8. in terms of eviction, it's certainly helpful for the landlord that he's been underpaid rent

for a long time. that said, relevant local laws matter as well as the actual rental agreement(s).

if each tenant had a separate agreement, each individually responsible for $800/month, then that would also be helpful in just evicting the one problem tentant. however, roommate situations are often with a single contract where each roommate is technically responsible for the entire rent and it's up to them to sort out any split amongst themselves. if that's the case, the landlord may have to take legal action against the good tenants as well, and the deadbeat might end up winning if the good tenants cave and pay the deadbeat's share.

it can get complicated quickly, which is why a lawyer is needed.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 02:56 PM

4. They are a boarder/roommate, not a tenant

IF they are not on the lease. They still need to be legally told to leave, but in many states (and Canada), they can still be made to leave, even now. Get your friend to check how NYC is handling this.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 04:12 PM

9. ...

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 04:18 PM

10. Eviction for cause

 

Is still permitted. The eviction moratorium applies to those tenants who are in financial distress as a result of the pandemic. If the tenant is violating other terms of the lease ó i.e., violating any prohibition on using property for unlawful purposes ó cause may exist.

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