Federal Eviction Moratorium Extended Through End of December

The federal moratorium on evictions, which was set to expire, has now been extended to December 31, 2020 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This means that people who feared being evicted now can avoid being legally removed from their homes until next year. However, this extension of the moratorium does not apply to everyone, and tenants may need to engage in formal advocacy to take advantage of the newly extended moratorium. Continue reading “Federal Eviction Moratorium Extended Through End of December”

With End of Moratorium Comes a Wave of Evictions

In March of this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo instituted a moratorium on evictions throughout the state to alleviate some of the economic strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which is currently set to end on August 20. Even though the moratorium has yet to expire, landlords who have not been paid by their tenants are already filing in record numbers to evict delinquent tenants. As a result, many tenants may be facing eviction quite soon, causing confusion and chaos as tenants struggle to figure out what they will do once the moratorium ends. Continue reading “With End of Moratorium Comes a Wave of Evictions”

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.
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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.
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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.

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