Violations for mice and roaches. Window guard. Illegal basement

4 Replies

NYC 

Hi everyone,

The tenant that I've been in housing court since June (tenant using textbook excuses to delay court) had the city issue mice, roaches and window guard violations on me before our next court date on 10/15. She even went through the trouble of reporting I have an illegal basement. While attempting to fix this issue, the tenant refuses to communicate with me nor let me into the apartment to inspect. The deadlines are coming up within the next two weeks and I don't want to get penalized by the city for something that is not true. I tried calling the city's violation enforcement agency, but they refuse to pick up or call me back after leaving multiple voice mails. 

I am stuck at the moment and stressing out. I'm also afraid that she might use these on court day and further extend this holdover case. 

Any advice would be appreciated. 

Thanks,

Steven

From my understanding, you don't have to get permission from her to inspect.  You must give her the appropriate timely notification beforehand (a couple of days notice) and tell her when you will be inspecting, whether she's there or not.

Address the city violations. If you can't reach the enforcement agency by phone or email, go to their office. But what do you want from them at this point that you don't already have spelled out in the violation notices? Whether the problems are real or perceived, you still need to address them.

You should give the tenant proper notice to enter so you can do an inspection and correct all violations as soon as possible. Don't go alone. Take someone with you, such as a witness and the professionals who will be fixing the problems. Get professional statements about how you have remedied the situation and the current condition.

Since you have a pending court matter, you need to make sure you are following landlord-tenant law to a T. You should be anyway. Also, make sure your building is compliance with all building codes. Document this.

Sounds like you are being more reactive than proactive. Do not engage with the tenant. Keep every communication polite. Seek first to understand the issues and then to address them swiftly. Do not do anything that could be seen as retaliation.

You haven't said why you are in housing court, or how it got to this point. Whatever the reason, make sure you are honest with yourself and honest with your attorney and honest with the court. Stick to the facts when in court and have those facts well prepared and documented. Follow the advice of a good attorney.

Good luck and sleep well.