Living in Fear of Eviction | Long Island Eviction Lawyer

To residents in Suffolk County, eviction is a dreaded threat. Not only does it remove them from their home, but having an eviction on their record can make it nearly impossible for them to find another affordable place to rent. A new trend sweeping the nation’s cities could give them yet another reason to be fearful of this outcome.

Nuisance Property Ordinance

Many cities have passed or are considering laws known as nuisance property ordinances. These laws are designed to deal with neighborhoods that have high crime rates. Under such ordinances, landlords are required to evict tenants if the property requires frequent visits from the police due to 911 calls from the tenants or neighbors. Although the laws sound good in theory, their application has resulted in some unexpected consequences.

A Case in Point

One single mother in Pennsylvania discovered firsthand how this legislation might affect some tenants. She had called 911 at various times because of an abusive boyfriend. After one call, the police told her that they would ask her landlord to evict her if they were called again. The abusive boyfriend was released from jail and showed up at her property demanding to stay. Rememberig the police’s warning, she felt that she had no choice but to let him in. Within a few days, there was another argument with the man that resulted in him attacking her with a broken ashtray. Despite the four-inch laceration on her neck, she begged her neighbor not to call 911 lest she be evicted. After she passed out, her neighbor called, and she was airlifted to the hospital for treatment. Despite her obvious injuries, city officials ordered her evicted from the property.

Evaluation of the Laws

Once the woman got the ACLU involved, the city backed down from its eviction demand, but these laws are still on the books in numerous other cities and towns. It may not be long before Suffolk County evictions are occurring on this basis as well. Although no one wants to live in a neighborhood with a crime-ridden property, there is some question as to whether penalizing residents for calling 911 is the right answer. Such laws seem to unfairly discriminate against battered women and minorities. They also make individuals hesitant to call the police when they need help. When the laws are used as the basis for an eviction, the affected parties have little or no legal recourse.

It is important for area residents to be aware of the guidelines governing Suffolk County evictions, and it is always a good idea to secure legal advice whenever you have a concern that your home may be in jeopardy. The attorneys of David Witkon Law are experienced in dealing with landlord tenant situations and can help you think through your available options. Contact the office today for a free consultation.

Tenants Stuck Outside for Months | Long Island Landlord Tenant Lawyer | Attorney

English: Looking east across 33d St at former ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For any group of tenants in Long Island, eviction is always a fear, even if a distant one. Typically, however, the landlord initiates an eviction. When tenants are instead removed from their dwellings by the city, the results can be devastating.

81 Bowery

In Chinatown on Bowery Street, there is a single-room occupancy tenement. It is rent controlled and occupied mainly by Chinese immigrants. They live in tiny cubicles and share a bathroom with other tenants, paying $200 a month for the privilege. But despite these cramped conditions, they consider their dwellings home and have built close relationships with the other residents

Unfortunately for these individuals, the owners of their building have a history of poor property management and have been cited with numerous code violations. In November of 2008, the city ruled the tenement too hazardous for occupancy and expelled the residents from their homes. Nine months later, they were finally permitted to return. Despite this incident, management continued to neglect the upkeep of the building.

Recent Events

On March 7, the history of this Manhattan eviction was repeated. The previous week, news station CNN had run a piece about the living conditions in the tenement. An Arizona viewer saw the report and called the city. In response, the city issued a vacate order. New York Fire Department personnel arrived at the building in the middle of the day when most residents were at work. They broke down the doors to all the rooms, and, as tenants returned home, informed them that must immediately leave the premises. The Red Cross offered shelter for a few days, but residents soon found themselves on the streets.

The Present

Now, more than four months later, these individuals are still homeless. Despite promises that management would address code violations within two weeks of the eviction, the building remains unsafe for occupancy. Tenants have organized protests to no avail. These individuals seem to have been overlooked and forgotten by both the city and their landlord. Only time will tell if they will again be able to obtain housing that is both safe and affordable.

There are things tenants can do to prevent this Long Island eviction story from repeating itself. It is vital for residents of a building to stay aware of the conditions of their dwelling and take steps to force landlords to deal with violations. If a landlord does not respond to requests, legal action must be taken before the living conditions become hazardous. If you have concerns about your landlord’s response to problems in your dwelling, you should protect yourself by seeking legal counsel immediately. The Long Island Landlord Tenant attorneys at Witkon Law are happy to help you consider your options. Don’t allow your landlord’s neglect to cause an eviction in Long Island. Contact Witkon Law today for a free consultation.

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Evicting Non-Paying Tenants

Something most landlords dread is the process of evicting non-paying tenants. Without good information, a landlord may unknowingly violate the law in an effort to recoup his losses. In order to protect the rights of all involved, the process of eviction is quite complicated.

Demand for Payment

Before a landlord can start court proceedings against a tenant, he must first present the tenant with a demand for payment of the past due rent. While the demand may be made orally, it is usually best to submit it in writing. A landlord is not allowed to give this notice directly to a tenant. He must use a representative — either a process server or another person who meets certain qualifications. There are also specific guidelines as to when and how the notice must be served. Once the demand has been correctly delivered, the landlord must wait three days before beginning court proceedings.

Initiating the Nonpayment Summary Proceeding

The next step in the process of evicting non-paying tenants in the state of New York is to file two forms with the court. The first is called a Notice of Petition: Nonpayment Proceeding and the second is a Nonpayment Petition to Recover Possession of Real Property. Once these papers are submitted to the court and the fee is paid, the court clerk will assign a docket number and a date on which the case will be heard. Copies of these papers must then be delivered to the tenant using the same method described above.

The Court Date

In the actual court case, the landlord should present evidence of nonpayment including rental receipts, a copy of the lease, etc. The tenant may also try to bring evidence that rent has been paid or that it has been withheld for a legitimate reason. The judge will examine all the evidence, listen to the arguments, and make a decision. If the judge accepts the claims of the landlord, he will give a Judgment.

The Actual Eviction

The Judgment gives the landlord the right to evict the tenant and take back possession of the property. However, a landlord cannot personally evict a tenant. Instead, he must obtain a Warrant of Eviction, and then ask a law-enforcement officer to perform the actual eviction. 72 hours of notice must be given to the tenant before he is evicted.

As can be seen from this brief overview, the process of evicting non-paying tenants is very complex. If any of these forms are filled out incorrectly, not filed properly with the court, or imperfectly served on the tenant, the case for eviction may be completely dismissed. For this reason, it is wise to use the services of a lawyer when attempting to evict a tenant. If you are a landlord in this situation, contact the law office of David Witkon today for a free consultation.