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Landlords have every right to evict tenants from their property for one reason or another; but all landlords must follow a prescribed legal procedure. More importantly, they have to prove that the tenants to be evicted are able to be evicted under article 7 of the RPAPL. They can’t evict tenants without serving them with a notice of termination or notice to cure in a timely manner prescribed by law and done so in an acceptable method.

Most landlords follow a legal procedure to evict undesirable tenants. But some don’t bother, seeking financial benefits from illegal, fraudulent government schemes as an alternative.

One such incident has recently come to light in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Supreme Court has sentenced Yuri Baumbilt, a landlord, to jail for up to 5 years for following crimes:

  • Bilking public assistance
  • Unlawful tenant eviction
  • Grand larceny
  • Scheming to defraud

What is the Matter?

Yuri Baumbilt mercilessly threw all his tenant’s belongings into the street without a court order. According to the prosecutors, he forced the tenant to leave and locked the house after. He also broke his cooking utilities (stove) to make sure he couldn’t cook for himself.

He crossed all legal limits of cruelty and took away the tenant’s bed after evicting him unlawfully and inhumanely. The tenant was left with no option but to sleep on the floor for at least four months and sue to get justice.

The tenant successfully sued him and got his bed back. Rimma, Yuri Baumbilt’s wife, was his accomplice in this incident. The authorities had nabbed both of them back in 2016 and had also seized many expensive items from their $3 million residence. The list includes:

  • Fur coats
  • Designer bags
  • Mercedes Benz

Baumbilt was also pushing his tenants into drug treatment programs to pocket kickbacks from Medicaid providers.  According to the prosecutors, Yuri and Rimma successfully extracted the amount of $1.5 million using this tactic. The couple has pleaded guilty to these wrong doings last month.

According to Mr. Eric Gonzalez, Brooklyn District Attorney, Bambuilt and Rimma always targeted people who desperately needed a house to line their own pockets. The couple must be put behind the bars for their fraud and inhumane actions, said Mr. Eric Gonzalez.

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Retaliatory Eviction

On April 19, 2017, in Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

RETALIATORY EVICTION

In New York, tenants are protected from retaliatory eviction proceedings by RPAPL 223-b.  This statute states in summary that a landlord cannot commence a summary proceeding to evict a tenant in retaliation or response to a tenant exercising it’s rights to file a complaint against the landlord with a government authority.  The statute also goes a bit further and protects a landlord from retaliating against the tenant in other ways than starting a retaliatory eviction proceeding.  Most notably, the statute prohibits a landlord from changing terms of the lease agreement in response to a complaint.

Another major component of this statute is the presumption that it creates.  If the landlord has knowledge of the complaint filed by the tenant prior to initiating the summary proceeding, the landlord is presumed to be commencing a retaliatory eviction proceeding.  The presumption however is only applicable after the tenant disproves certain underlying allegations of the petition; such as nonpayment of rent.

Retaliatory evictions are often commenced in response to the filing of a complaint due to the landlords failure to provide necessary services such as heat or hot water.  It is important to understand whether or not a summary proceeding is warranted under the circumstances or whether the commencement of an action will be considered by the court to be a retaliatory eviction.

Landlord Tenant Attorney

Knowing the law regarding retaliatory eviction proceedings is necessary for every landlord and tenant.  Please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620, where a landlord tenant attorney can speak with you about your case.

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Enforcing a Money Judgment

On February 20, 2016, in Landlord-Tenant, Litigation, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Landlords, as well as any civil plaintiffs, are often faced with the realization that there is a significant difference between obtaining a money judgment and actually collecting the judgment from the Tenant or defendant. In order to enforce a judgment, certain information is pertinent. If the means of enforcement will be an income execution, the social security number of the Tenant along with the name and address of the Tenant’s employer will be necessary. If enforcement will hinge upon a property execution, the necessary information will vary depending on the type of property that will be executed. It is worth noting that automobiles differ from other types of tangible property in procedure and cost. In general, proof of the title holder of the property and the location of the property are required for a property execution. Another method of executing a money judgment is through a bank levy. The account of a Tenant can be frozen as long as the Landlord can provide the bank name and address to the Sheriff. The appropriate method of enforcing a money judgment can vary depending on the specific facts of each situation.

If you have a money judgment and are not clear on how to enforce it, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak to an attorney today!

De Facto Rent Stabilization

On January 8, 2016, in Landlord-Tenant, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

iStock_000038610748_MediumJones v. Gumbs, 84034/2015

Four family building with seven residential units

Landlord filed a holdover proceeding to evict tenant whose lease had expired. Tenant claimed the building was a legal four family home, but contained seven residential units which made the building rent stabilized. The landlord claimed that the building currently contained less than six residential units and could not be considered rent stabilized.

The court relied on legal precedent and a DOB violation when it ruled that the building contained six or more units and was therefore rent stabilized. The Court stated that the units did not need to be legal in order to subject the premises to rent stabilization.

Furthermore, and this may be the worst part, the Court stated that even if one or two units were now removed, the building would still be subject to rent stabilization because it contained more than six units when the DOB violation was issued. Thus, the Court found that the tenant should have been offered a rent stabilized lease and ultimately dismissed the landlord’s eviction action.

If you are in a similar situation and need legal assistance, do not hesitate to call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620.

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