What can I do against a roommate moving my things around? Can it be harassment or vandalizing?
I'm tired of my roommate moving my stuff. She moves my things in the common area because she doesn't like how they look. My belongings are NOT in anyone's way or create any kind of problem. I want her to stop messing with my things and I really hope there's a law that can help me in this case.
Isn't it harassment or vandalizing? Yesterday I told her to not touch my things and she dared reply that she's gonna keep doing it because "they don't belong there" -- Don't I get a saying where my things belong? One specific case: I have a small cardboard box with office supplies sitting on a shelf next to a wall. She doesn't like how the box looks and keeps putting it away. Any advice?
4 attorney answers
Dear New York Tenant:
There is no "law" to stand between you and your fussy roommate. If you both signed the lease, you are more than roommates; you are co-tenants. That allows each tenant to exercise control over the entire apartment. Your roommate does not like your style who manner of arranging your possessions in the common areas. If you are a co-tenant, you are likely stuck with this behavior through the duration of the tenancy. If only you or the roommate signed the lease you have flexibility. If you are not on the lease, you could move. If the other person is not on the lease, and you are, you could make her move. Look up, NYC Housing Court Roommate Holdover Proceeding.
I have forty years experience in the specialty of Housing Law and Tenant's Rights advocacy. The answer I provided to you does not create an attorney and client relation. You are free to check my office contact information at my AVVO profile. The answer offered is in the nature of general information, and should not be considered as tailored legal advice. I offer answers as a service to the community with my firm belief that you should try gain a good outcome for your legal issue and to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
I agree with Mr. Smollen's answer above. The level of rights you may have against your roommate will likely boil down to who is the signatory on the lease for the premises. If you were the only one to sign the lease, you will have much more leverage.
Mr. Smollens answer is highly instructive. As you can see, the attorneys' here agree there is no law that will prevent her from moving you things around. Sounds like you need to evict her or move yourself, all depending on who signed the lease.