Tentant in hospital - NYC

1 Reply


I am in NYC, a very tenant friendly, not landlord friendly city.  I have an elderly tenant, one who has resided in this building for 40 years. He has no family at all.  The only point of contact I have for him is a friend of the family, basically his friend's son in law checks in on him occasionally.  He is a complete mess.  His apartment smells, he doesn't bathe and I cannot tell you the last time he did laundry.  I have called Dept for the aging and they have checked on him but do nothing to help him.  He is currently in the hospital after falling down the stairs.  He refused immediate medical attention but eventually an ambulance was called for him. What do I do? I want him out.  He is a danger to himself and everyone else in the small 3 unit building.  He has left the front doors unlocked several times.  He will be going to a rehab facility for the next month or so.  What do I do if he doesn't pay his rent? Who do I call? After his fall, he urinated in his bed, the apartment smells like urine, my other tenants are complaining of the smell.  What are my rights as a landlord? 

Thanks, I am very frustrated with this situation. I know I sound like a horrible person, but he has completely destroyed the apartment and it will need a complete renovation when he moves out, I know that will all come out of my pocket, but I don't want to lose months of rents too.  If he doesn't leave the nursing home, what happens next? Do I need to find an attorney to start eviction process?

Sorry to hear about this smelly situation. :(

Yes, it sounds like you need a good real estate attorney who knows how to handle the eviction process. The last thing NYC courts want is another elderly person on the streets so it will not be easy. As a renter, I love how tenant friendly NYC is. As an investor I wouldn't touch this place. You aren't a bad person for feeling this way, it's the way of the world. 

As to what your rights are I am not an attorney and therefore I can't interpret the law for you. From what I've heard from landlords and property managers out here the eviction process will be time consuming and costly. If you don't take action however, he could negatively impact the marketability of your other units and end up costing you even more money in added vacancy. Your alternative to that is to talk to the tenant and work out some kind of arrangement. Tell him he's in violation of certain clauses in his lease (is there a lease?). Tell him you are getting complaints from the neighbors and you as the landlord have to take action and fulfill your obligation to your other tenants. Resolving the situation outside of court will save you the most money but it will take effort, sensitivity, and persistence to make it happen. And it's still a longshot. 

Good luck.

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