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Being held hostage by tenant. I renting a home in that my tenant says was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Brooklyn, NY |

He first said he wanted to cancel his lease. Which I agreed to. A few days he changed his mind. He treatened to have me locked up and take me to court & live in the house for 6 months free unless I met all his demands. In good faith I have done so...to keep peace. Prior to the actual work, I asked him to put in writing that once things were taken care of , he was in agreement the house was safe to live in. With project near completion he is now demanding more work done....threatening unless I now tear down wall - this will make his family sick. He is a cop and Vet. I am literally afraid of this guy. He is trying to buy my house at 1/2 the market value. My funds are depleted and yet he refuses to leave (what he is referring to as an un-inhabitable house.). Help.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Perhaps I may be of some assistance.
    There are a number of issues here, but fundamentally, if the house is still habitable, he should be paying you rent. If there's a written lease between you and the tenant, that probably addresses who is responsible for rent payment, in the event that an intervening cause such as Hurricane Sandy reduces the habitability of the house. Please call 212-350-9576 to discuss.

    - Edward Alper, Esq.


  2. You have to bring an action to evict him. You must serve a 30 day notice immediately on him. However, you cannot do it yourself. Someone else must serve it.

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