One hairy eviction process.. Someone please help!

32 Replies

I'm in a particularly dramatic situation to say the least. 

Against my better judgement, I allowed my brother in law to move in from out of state with my wife and I. He agreed and was expected to get a job and begin paying rent ($200 a month) after a month. However he has been partying, smoking weed, and chasing tail - with NO money of his own! He claims that noone is hiring but I saw little to no initiative and he began breaking rules I set in the home. 

I gave him an ultimatum, either I give him the processing fee for the 10 day notice and he left in 2 days, or I process it. He wanted the cash and agreed to leave, he signed a contract I typed up and I thought all was good. Until I get word from my wife on day 2 that it was an illegal eviction. He laughed in my face, that day he was served a 10 day notice PROPERLY. I was also given the "greenlight" so to speak to make him as uncomfortable as I'd like during his stay in my home. No shower head in 2nd bathroom, no towels, locked fridge, all canned food stored away, no heat (its NY state btw), no light in the bedroom he's been staying in, I removed the bedroom door as well. Lol I get very creative when I'm angry.. 

It is now day 4 of the 10 day and guess what I found in the snow when I was walking to the front door.... the asshats house key. This is where I need your help guys. Can I legally withhold the key and charge him a lockout fee (like I do to my other tenants) or whats the deal? I dont want to just let him back in if I dont have to... help?

I would hire an eviction attorney. Let your brother in law know that it will be on his record and credit and there is nothing you can do about it if he's not out by tomorrow. 

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

I'm in a particularly dramatic situation to say the least. 

Against my better judgement, I allowed my brother in law to move in from out of state with my wife and I. He agreed and was expected to get a job and begin paying rent ($200 a month) after a month. However he has been partying, smoking weed, and chasing tail - with NO money of his own! He claims that noone is hiring but I saw little to no initiative and he began breaking rules I set in the home. 

I gave him an ultimatum, either I give him the processing fee for the 10 day notice and he left in 2 days, or I process it. He wanted the cash and agreed to leave, he signed a contract I typed up and I thought all was good. Until I get word from my wife on day 2 that it was an illegal eviction. He laughed in my face, that day he was served a 10 day notice PROPERLY. I was also given the "greenlight" so to speak to make him as uncomfortable as I'd like during his stay in my home. No shower head in 2nd bathroom, no towels, locked fridge, all canned food stored away, no heat (its NY state btw), no light in the bedroom he's been staying in, I removed the bedroom door as well. Lol I get very creative when I'm angry.. 

It is now day 4 of the 10 day and guess what I found in the snow when I was walking to the front door.... the asshats house key. This is where I need your help guys. Can I legally withhold the key and charge him a lockout fee (like I do to my other tenants) or whats the deal? I dont want to just let him back in if I dont have to... help?

 Don't be an idiot.... seriously.

Landlords may not take the law into their own hands and evict a tenant by use of force or unlawful means. For example, a landlord cannot use threats of violence, remove a tenant’s possessions, lock the tenant out of the apartment, or willfully discontinue essential services such as water or heat. When a tenant is evicted, the landlord must give the tenant a reasonable amount of time to remove all belongings; the landlord may not retain the tenant’s personal belongings or furniture (RPAPL §749; Real Property Law § 235). A tenant evicted from an apartment in a forcible or unlawful manner is 16 entitled to recover triple damages in a legal action against the landlord. Landlords in New York City who use illegal methods to force a tenant to move are also subject to both criminal and civil penalties. Further, the tenant may be entitled to be restored to occupancy (RPAPL § 853; NYC Admin. Code § 26-523, § 26-521).

https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/tenants_rights.pdf

Listen.  Listen closely.  You are setting yourself up for some very real pain if this gets to court.  Knock it off, RIGHT NOW, with the "creative" self-help constructive eviction nonsense.  Seriously, I cannot emphasize this enough.  It is YOU, not him, who is going to end up on the wrong side of this.

In fact, I strongly encourage you to change your user name (you are allowed to use a last initial, as I do, rather than your whole name) and delete your profile picture.  You don't want this showing up on a google search.

Go to a lawyer, and let him deal with it.  Do NOTHING but what he specifically instructs you to do.

I really hate to see you get jammed up by a deadbeat inlaw.  However satisfying it is to get, "creative,"  you are in very real danger of getting in a lot of trouble.

Lawyer, right away.

Wow, that sucks.  Better CYA and do it all legally. 

Great thread... you just about covered everything on what NOT to do during an eviction process... Also helps that you mixed business with family or friends... Congrats... you WIN!

Originally posted by @Steve S. :

Great thread... you just about covered everything on what NOT to do during an eviction process... Also helps that you mixed business with family or friends... Congrats... you WIN!

 His brother in law about to have one hell of a house party with all the money he gets in court lol....

I hate to say this but even your relatives should pass your tenant screening due diligence since you indicated you are a landlord!

For those who are not landlords.... you should also tenant screen in this situation! Protect yourself from making a mistake!

In fact, it's more important because he will live in your home!

You also have access to his social media like Face Book, Twitter and Instagram! It was probably real easy for you to know everything about him!

I think that this thread will help anyone who is thinking of renting to someone they know or are related.... still do your due diligence and take that into account before you make an emotional decision!

How is this even a tenancy situation?  Your BIL moves in, plays the slacker and you have to evict him to make him leave?  Seriously?

Originally posted by @Jon Holdman :

How is this even a tenancy situation?  Your BIL moves in, plays the slacker and you have to evict him to make him leave?  Seriously?

They have a verbal agreement for a month-to-month tenancy followed by behavior confirming said tenancy, a breach of the agreement, and a notice to quit.

Kinda hard to walk all that back now and claim he's a guest.

The laws in my state differentiate between a shared house/roommate situation and LL/tenant law.  Do some research and see if actual NY landlord/tenant law pertains to your situation.

Now you know why we do not rent to family and friends.  They just get take advantage of you -- especially when substance abuse is thrown in the mix.

agreed with everyone above. so far you have started writing a great book titled, "what not to do during an eviction"

my suggestion, get a lawyer. you may have an argument that tenancy was never established as he never paid rent, but that may be a long shot.

from here on out, you do what your lawyer says regarding him. no more, no less. get him out asap.

you especially need to be careful, considering you have other rentals. a self help eviction may tarnish your reputation with your other rentals.

@Account Closed I am assuming brother in law means your wife's brother? That is messed up. Everyone is hiring, they are just not hiring losers. 

I am going to disagree with the people who are warning you about this going to court. First of all, it is unlikely this moron will even show up in court. If he manages to find his way there, just tell the judge your brother in law came to stay short term as a family guest while he looked for work. He has never paid you a dime. You found out he wasn't job hunting and worse yet he was using drugs and casually hooking up with women. You asked him to kindly leave. You were shocked when he refused to leave, so you offered him a few dollars to help him get back on his feet if he promised to leave. He signed an agreement saying he would go. Then he came back regardless, so you had no choice but to pursue eviction as a means to get him to leave. 

What is the judge going to do, give the drug using leach double security deposit in damages? No, the judge is going to side with you.

Good luck Joe!

Rental/eviction laws can differ when it comes to your personal residence vs a dedicated rental property. So you need to know your laws on that situation.

You said he left the key, so hopefully that is the end of that situation. When you are SURE that is legally okay to do so, you should change your locks.

Even in your own home, do not do the things you've done to encourage him to leave. And *definitely* don't do anything even *remotely* close to this with a tenant in a dedicated rental property.

Finally, @Account Closed , as said already, I HIGHLY recommend that you go into your profile/privacy settings and set your name so that your last name is only an initial. There is a box to check/uncheck for that.

@Joe Splitrock I agree that the relative would likely no show. 

However, the Judge is going to reprimand Joe for even starting to talk about some of the things you are suggesting.

Or is this Judge Judy we're talking about?

If the guy has no money.... then you might be surprised by his level of knowledge of what a landlord is or isn't allowed to do. It might also be surprising the amount of money is owed for such things.... or how long they take to process.

Originally posted by @Tom Gimer :

@Joe Splitrock I agree that the relative would likely no show. 

However, the Judge is going to reprimand Joe for even starting to talk about some of the things you are suggesting.

Or is this Judge Judy we're talking about?

A judge is going to view a relative coming to stay differently than a lease contract where money exchanged hands. In most states, house guests are treated differently than tenants for purposes of the law. The fact that the guest never paid money is very important in this case. The brother-in-law needs to prove tenancy. A written lease, proof of rent payments, utility bills, drivers license. He doesn't even have a job in the area to show he has any community connections. Any of those things would support his case, otherwise he was just staying with family.

@Joe Splitrock My point was the judge isn't going to let the subject turn to his habits. They aren't relevant to the tenancy or lack thereof.

But regardless, what does it matter if the whole purpose of being in front of a judge is to terminate a tenancy? 

Next we'll hear that this has turned into a restraining order hearing.

When I first started reading this, I had to pinch myself to know if this was real or not.Then I started laughing, not at you, but at what seems so out there yet so real, because we all know those relatives that will just stick no you like white on rice and expect you to carry them along.I feel really bad for you and I must ask, can your wife (his sister) not step in and try to do something here?This must be taking a toll to on yours and her relationship.This is why I never, ever do business with family or friends.When things go downhill, now you have to deal with seeing them at company holiday dinners, ugghhhh.I am not familiar with the NY landlord-tenant laws but know that, should this be processed as an eviction, what you are doing currently whether or not it shows up in court is not right and legally could work against you.Trust me, I really do empathize with you and your situation and it seems like this Brother in Law is really taking advantage of you, but don’t correct this wrong with another.Follow the legal process to get him out, talk to your wife to see if she can intervene at all, but it seems he may not listen to her either and just does not care.So my laughter is because I cannot for the life of me see how someone can think that this kind of behavior is right to do to anyone, leave alone your family.This man/boy should be ashamed of himself for putting you and your wife/his sister through this mess.After this, I suggest you be very careful about inviting family over for those extended stays that never seem to end.  PS.  Someone here commented about you changing your profile name following this.  That may not be a bad idea as people share posts and this could end up on social media and/or google search and from my understanding bigger pockets does not delete posts once they are posted, so just word of advice on what you post online, but again, I truly do feel bad for you.  It must be a very emotional position you have been placed and this boy is putting you and your wife (kids if any), in a very difficult position.  No one likes calling the law on family but this one looks like you may have to, to get this mess straightened out.  All the best, sincerely,

Updated 7 months ago

family holiday dinners

Wait...so you guys are saying a dead beat brother in law that moves in to his own personal residence...no written lease in any way shape or form..... and he promises to pay some rent....but never does...... he's got all the rights of a legal tenant and you have to evict him like a "real" tenant?

What?

Last time I heard you could tell your dead beat relative to get the F out of your house any time you want.... you don't have to serve them notice and go through all the legal BS..... I'm going to be blown away that ANY judge is going to rule in favor of the dead beat brother in law....

Not sure why you tried to serve him a legal notice....that may have screwed you, since you apparently though of him as a legal tenant

Personal residence....... relative by law.... no lease....no Hx of EVER paying rent...... please.....

Wouldn’t taking the door off and turning off the heat hurt you and heat his area?

I am in the camp with the folks that believe this is not a true tenancy. Your own personal residence with no lease and no payments made. How is that a tenant ?

So you took some initiative to resolve the situation. 

You removed a bedroom door. So what ?... its your house your are planning to remove all the doors and paint them one by one.

You locked the fridge...So what ?...since when is a "tenant" allow to raid your fridge and take the kids mac and cheese.

Shower head fell off...So what ?...your are not the handiest of guys and will get around to it cos the wife is mad about it as well.

No heat....So what ? ...your whole family is freezing as well.

No towels...So what ?...its not a hotel your are running.

He lost his key in the snow...So what ?...That's his problem and you cannot control the weather.

Legal or not legal in your state in don't know. But the boogy man in this whole situation is your wife.

What does she say about all this ?    Surely she could just tell Bro to move on...or is she secretly not wanting to have confrontation with family.   Tough Call !

 

@Sam Magina Yes that's what I was thinking too, coz now you have to freeze and on top of that, have to listen to him as he has relations among other types of partying uuhhhhmm no thank you..... I cant! 

If you feel your safety is imperiled then go apply for a restraining order at the courthouse. Most judges rubber stamp them. He'll be out in a day! I'm sure you could articulate how his behavior has you worried for your own well being, good luck!

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