I rent the attic apartment of my 2-family home. This is a historic home and in need of a new, and complicated roof. There is a severe leak in the tenant's apartment and it can't be repaired quickly. The apartment is becoming inhabitable after months of failed fixes. The tenant is very upset, understandably, and wants to take legal action. I want to give notice to vacate in order to re-roof the house. Can I be sued for terminating the month-to-month lease if I give 30 days notice? I have all intention of fixing the roof, but do not want litigious tenants living in my home anyway. Does this tenant have recourse for the leak if I give her notice?
Dear Rhinebeck Homeowner:
You're not about to do the eviction lawsuit on your own, so why not start by hiring an attorney.
Any tenant in any eviction case may raise any defense or objection or counterclaim that is not barred by law. So if you wonder whether the litigious tenant may claim the notice to quit is a retaliatory eviction, that is a possibility. As it is in any month to month tenancy termination litigation, since so few real defenses exist.
Your house may be historic but is the attic a legal dwelling space? Have you properly wired, plumbed, insulated, heated, cooled, the apartment? Did you install working smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide detectors?
Your jurisdiction requires three-unit homes comply with the NY State Multiple Residence Law (https://ecode360.com/140850440)
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