Standing in Landlord Tenant Court
Standing is an affirmative defense that finds its way into many Answers in Landlord Tenant Court. Standing refers to the right of the petitioner/landlord to bring the case in the first place. The quick rule of thumb to decipher whether or not a petitioner has Standing is if the petitioner appears on the deed to the property on the date that the action was commenced. An action is commenced on the date that the index number is purchased with the Court.
In cases where Standing is at issue, it is necessary to determine whether or not a Power of Attorney has given the authority to prosecute a case to another individual than whom appears on the deed. It is important to note that the petitioner should in most cases still be the person named as owner on the property deed.
If you are involved in a current landlord tenant proceeding or are considering bringing a landlord tenant action, call (516) 858-2620 to speak to a landlord tenant attorney today!
Knowing the venue where you are litigating your eviction is vital in several ways including the cost of the action. Nassau County in particular can be very costly due to some local town codes. In Nassau County, the Sheriff requires the landlord to pay for the moving expenses and first month’s storage charges for the tenant’s belongings. The reason for this cost is that Nassau County and the municipalities and townships inside Nassau County have ordinances and codes in place to protect the public health and welfare in their municipalities or towns. These town codes prevent garbage and discarded property from being left curbside. Faced with the dilemma of figuring out how to execute the warrant of eviction for landlords without leaving the tenant’s belongings curbside, the Sheriff decided to employ the services of a moving company to remove the tenants belongings and acquire a storage unit to hold such belongings. It is the responsibility of the Sheriff to ensure that the municipality collects these funds and does not take a financial loss. The Sheriff therefore demands that the landlord pay the moving and storage expense upfront. For more information regarding this aspect of Nassau County eviction proceedings, read the decision of
Eviction of a tenant for criminal drug activity
A very interesting decision came down on April 11, 2014 regarding the eviction of a tenant for criminal drug activity. The Appellate Term ruled that in order to evict a tenant for criminal drug activity, the tenant’s possession of illegal drugs is not enough. The landlord must also be able to prove the tenant’s intent was to use the drugs in a criminal manner. The crime of possession is not insufficient for this purpose, Los Tres Unidos Associates, LP v. Angel Mercado, “John Doe” and/or “Jane Doe” 2014 WL 1408540.
This is important for landlords to understand. A distinction must be made between the landlord’s knowledge of a tenant’s possession drugs and a tenant selling drugs or using drugs in a manner that is considered a criminal drug activity. This may save a landlord the time and money for bringing a Holdover Proceeding that cannot succeed. If you insist on moving forward with such a Holdover Proceeding, be ready to prove the tenant’s intent to engage in criminal activity with regards to the drugs.
As always, if you have questions about evicting a tenant, call (516) 858-2620 to speak to a landlord tenant attorney that can assist you!
Holdover vs. Nonpayment Evictions
Deciding between holdover and nonpayment evictions.
Recently, we have had several situations arise where clients had to determine whether they would bring a Holdover vs. Nonpayment eviction against the tenant. Now it is true that in most situations, there is really no choice. The facts of the specific case dictate that there is only one option available. It is not correct however to assume that there are never situations where a choice exists. The final decision needs to be the result of strategic planning between attorney and client.
The one constant that must be taken into account when determining which type of action you will ultimately bring is the desired outcome. The attorney’s job is to take the specific facts of the case and develop the plan to achieve the desired outcome. Together, the attorney client team decides on the type of action to bring. Together, they have taken into consideration the ultimate goals of the landlord, the governing laws, the trends of the court rulings, and the facts of the case.
As always, if you are having trouble deciding which type of action to bring, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620!