The coronavirus pandemic has proved to be an exceptionally difficult time for many lower-income people, as many have lost their businesses or been laid off from their jobs. However, in New York and many other states, evictions were put on hold to prevent people from being forced onto the streets during the quarantine. The fact that people could not be legally evicted, however, did not stop landlords from threatening and harassing tenants into a so-called “self-help” eviction. Continue reading “Landlords Accused of Harassing Tenants into “Self-Help” Eviction”
Category: Landlord-Tenant Disputes
Landlords Use Sensitive Personal Information to Spy on Tenants
Due to the economic hardship resulting from the coronavirus crisis, rent payments in New York are under a moratorium until August, with many other states implementing similar measures. However, with stimulus payments on the way for many Americans, some landlords have been using tenants’ personal information to check on their payments and collect rent anyway. This practice, while seemingly uncommon, is illegal, and constitutes a serious breach of a landlord’s duty towards their tenants. Continue reading “Landlords Use Sensitive Personal Information to Spy on Tenants”
Confusion Arises Over New York Eviction Moratorium
In late March, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a moratorium on evictions throughout New York State. While the move was welcomed by tenants who feared being evicted during the coronavirus pandemic, it didn’t stop cases for eviction from being filed in New York courts. This strange situation, where landlords can file to evict their tenants but can’t carry out the eviction, has caused confusion among landlords and tenants alike about what is permissible during the moratorium. Continue reading “Confusion Arises Over New York Eviction Moratorium”
What is a Constructive Eviction and How Could it Impact You?
One of the most basic assumptions a person has when they rent an apartment or a workspace is that it will be safe to live in, and free from hazards or pests that will allow them to live or work in peace. However, sometimes, a rented space can, through negligence or malfeasance on the part of the landlord, become effectively uninhabitable. If things become bad enough that you can no longer safely or comfortably inhabit the space, you may be dealing with a constructive eviction. Continue reading “What is a Constructive Eviction and How Could it Impact You?”
Common Tenant Rights
When renting an apartment it is important to know your rights as a tenant. If you are renting in New York State, there are several rights that you have the second the lease is signed. While these rights can vary slightly between cities, the general premise runs through each rental situation. While a lease agreement may lead to more responsibilities of the landlord, there are three important rights that are in every lease agreement. Continue reading “Common Tenant Rights”
When AirBNB Goes Wrong
Many people have benefitted from the service that AirBNB provides. It allows people to find a place to stay where hotels might otherwise be too expensive or rare, and it allows others to make money from renting out their homes or apartments when they’re out of town. Everyone wins… provided that neither the “guest” nor the “host” do anything untoward. Because if they do, and you happen to be the landlord whose tenant became embroiled in an AirBNB-related debacle, you could have a major headache on your hands. Continue reading “When AirBNB Goes Wrong”
Court Finds Landlord Liable for Failing to Address Racial Harassment of Tenant
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision regarding racial harassment occurring at a Kings Park apartment complex. The Plaintiff, Donahue Francis, was subjected to a continuous campaign of racial harassment, abuse, and threats from his next-door neighbor. The conduct included derogatory language, death threats, and harassing conduct such as attempting to photograph the interior of Francis’ apartment. The conduct continued and Francis contacted the Suffolk County Police out of fear for his life. The Suffolk County Police contacted the apartment complex, Kings Park Manor (KPM), and informed the complex about the neighbor’s activity. KPM did nothing in response to the call from the Suffolk County Police, so Francis wrote them a letter directly.
Continue reading “Court Finds Landlord Liable for Failing to Address Racial Harassment of Tenant”
Can a Landlord Enter a Tenant’s Home?
Once a lease is entered into, a landlord and a tenant have various legal rights intertwined with one another. In order to keep civility during the life of a lease, it is important to recognize the rights of each party. One of the more common controversies seen in landlord/tenant court is whether the landlord can enter into the tenant’s apartment.
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Designation of Therapy Animals to Evade No Pet Policies
The trend of fraudulently labeling pets as “therapy” or “emotional” animals to avoid a building’s no pet policy is on the rise. Landlords are increasingly reluctant to challenge their tenants as any denial could result in a discrimination suit resulting in fines up to $250,000. Unlike trained service animals such as a seeing-eye-dog, emotional support animals do not need formal training. In fact, there are websites online that will generate a doctor’s note stating the tenant’s need for a service dog for under $200. Despite the therapy exemption, the concern is that therapy animals may become a nuisance to landlords and neighbors.
Continue reading “Designation of Therapy Animals to Evade No Pet Policies”
Avoiding Online Rental Scams
In recent years, more people are seeking rental units through the Internet. However, individuals often find themselves falling victim to an online scam. Some of the Internet sites commonly associated with rental scams are Craigslist, Trulia, and Zillow. While these websites do their best to eliminate scammers from using their sites, it is important to look for possible signs of a rental scam as well as perform due diligence in the event that a scammer has slipped through the cracks.