Standing in Landlord Tenant Court

On May 1, 2015, in Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

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!

Eviction for Criminal Drug Activity

On April 29, 2014, in Criminal, Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

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!

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Section 8 Tenant Evictions

On July 11, 2012, in Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Section 8 Tenant Evictions

SECTION 8 TENANT EVICTIONS

In order to evict Section 8 tenants, landlords must follow special procedures that apply uniquely to Section 8 tenancies. The process is more complicated and difficult than typical evictions, but landlords with good reasons for evicting tenants should not be discouraged.
Section 8 is a government program that subsidizes a portion of certain tenants’ rent. The program is administered by NYCHA, the New York City Housing Authority. People may qualify for Section 8 vouchers for a number of reasons. People with mental illnesses or physical disabilities, for example, may be eligible for Section 8 vouchers. Some Section 8 vouchers may be transferred, by the tenant, from residence to residence, while other vouchers remain with the rental unit. In either case, a portion of the rent will be paid by the government directly to the landlord. The tenant is only responsible for the portion of the rent that is not covered by the voucher. If the landlord seeks any part of the subsidy portion in the eviction action, then NYCHA must be joined as a party to the case.

In any Section 8 eviction, NYCHA as well as the tenant must be notified of the grounds for eviction before the landlord begins the case. Once NYCHA and the tenant are notified, the process the landlord will have to follow will depend on the grounds for eviction. If the tenant is being evicted for nonpayment of rent or holdover based on termination of a Section 8 voucher, then the landlord must send a certification stating the grounds for eviction to NYCHA and the tenant. (A “holdover” is when a landlord evicts a tenant that remains in a rental unit after the lease has expired, or because the tenant remains in the unit after violating lease terms. If the lease agreement is contingent upon the Section 8 voucher, then termination of the Section 8 voucher would give the landlord grounds for eviction. This would be a holdover based on termination of a Section 8 voucher.) The landlord can then request a certificate of non-objection from NYCHA. Section 8 tenants can only be evicted for “good cause” – such as creating an ongoing nuisance or violating the law, among other things. NYCHA must be assured that the tenant is being evicted for good cause. If NYCHA issues a certificate of non-objection, then the certification of grounds may be substituted for the allegations in the landlord’s petition. If NYCHA does not respond in a timely manner, the landlord can begin the case, but should include an allegation stating that NYCHA has not responded in the petition. NYCHA may object to the grounds for eviction in the certification. In this event, the case may still proceed, but NYCHA must be joined as a party to the case. After this, the case can proceed as a typical eviction action.

Each of these procedural requirements must occur within specified timelines, and there may always be special circumstances demanding other procedural actions. Section 8 evictions can be one of the more difficult areas of housing law. But if the grounds are there, eviction is an option.

Landlord Tenant Attorneys

If you have any questions about this, or other legal issues, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to schedule a free consultation.

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