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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 111554
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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Dear Law Educator, I have an illegal basement apt in my

Customer Question

Dear Law Educator, I have an illegal basement apt in my house where a tenant has been living for several years in boroughs of NYC. I got a violation yesterday by the DOB with an order to immediately vacate the apt and remove and fix it as it was suppose to be.
The question is can I ask the tenant to immediately move out and if she does not comply will the City or the Fire Dept force her out? Someone told me to get the fire Marshal involved and they can take her out?
I have been having some issues with her lately but she does pay rent.
Please advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Do you have a written lease with her or is she a month to month tenant?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No lease month to month. Just called DOB they said there is a vacate order in the system and she will have to move asap or I can call NYPD or the FD?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.

You have to give her written notice to vacate immediately and if there is a month to month lease, because this is your fault, you will have to pay her to stay somewhere for 30 days, since 30 day notice was required by law. She has no choice but to vacate because of the violation. Also, the city can cite you for every day you rented the illegal premises.

Also, when you pay for her to stay elsewhere for 30 days, in lieu of the notice, you need to get her to sign an agreement stating that "in consideration of you paying for her to stay elsewhere for 30 days, she is agreeing to waive all other claims against you related to the lease."

If she does not sign this you could actually be liable to her under the law to reimburse her for ALL of the months rent she paid for the illegal apartment and that can get quite costly on top of the fines from the city for the illegal apartment.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

But there is no lease?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.

You have a verbal lease and those are just as valid as a written lease. If you were collecting money for rent there was a lease. You are going to be liable for renting an illegal apartment. You also need to engage a local attorney to represent you in the violation with the city to try to keep the fines down for renting an illegal apartment.

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