My nanny's landlord told her yesterday (Wednesday) that her basement apartment is illegal and that she has to move out by Saturday. Apparently this was triggered by someone else in the building reported the illegal apartment, and the landlord wants her out before someone comes to investigate. She is current on her rent and has paid through the end of the month. Can the landlord evict her on such short notice?
Dear New York Tenant:
Even a tenant of an illegal apartment is entitled to proper notice that the landlord terminated the tenancy. If your nanny pays rent on a monthly basis and does not have a lease, NYC considers the tenant is a month to month tenant and entitled to a written thirty day notice of tenancy termination. The notice is a creature of a statute and so must contain the proper language to satisfy the statute as well as "served" in accordance with the statute. Highly technical and from what you wrote the nanny's landlord is not close to a proper notice. Moreover, the earliest date to end the tenancy properly is January 31, 2015.
Your nanny's landlord may commit the crime of an illegal eviction. In NYC, a landlord using self help (that is not using the legal system) is subject to an arrest by the NYPD. This is the problem. The landlord may evict without legal authority. The police may assist or may not assist the nanny getting back into her home. The Housing Court may issue an order to the landlord to restore the nanny to her home, but when the dwelling is not a legal residence, judges do take a risk that sending a tenant back to an illegal dwelling is returning the tenant to a potential fire-trap.
Your nanny may very well need a lawyer especially if the landlord carries out the threat. She should make sure in advance that her valuable possessions (anything of worth is safe) are not left in the apartment. That is so, because she will never again see her property if the landlord carries out the illegal eviction. She should carry proof with her about her residence in case of the illegal eviction so the police could help put her back into her home.
The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
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