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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35351
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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My next door neighbors are section 8 tenants, i have

Customer Question

my next door neighbors are section 8 tenants, i have contacted the landlord about all the fighting, and drug activity there. We call the cops often, the landlord says they are moving for over a year now. What can I do? I am in mastic beach long island new york.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Are the tenants interfering with your quiet use and enjoyment of the property?

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Have you notified the landlord in writing of the problem and he ignores it?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have spoken with the land lord many times, not in writing.He says they are moving but its been over a year. I have emails to the village where i said I have spoken with the landlord, they are very disruptive with constant fights outside, we call the cops almost every time as recent as today. Our quality of life on our street has dropped considerably.
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Ok, thank you for that information. As a general rule, the landlord is not legally liable for the unlawful actions of a tenant because a third party can't be held responsible for the unlawful actions of someone else.

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With that said, I have seen tenants in similar situations file a lawsuit against the landlord alleging the he is in violation of the lease contract which gives the tenant the right to "quiet use and enjoyment" of the property. Since the landlord is aware of the disturbances, and is taking no action to remedy the problem, he is violating your rights under the lease. So if you were to sue the landlord in small claims court, and provide all the evidence of the numerous police calls and visits to the property, the judge could order the landlord to "abate the nuisance" by evicting the tenants from the property in addition to awarding you damages based on the reduced value of the rental considering the constant problems from the other tenant.

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Further, you have a direct recourse against the tenant yourself if you were to file a lawsuit against them for "private nuisance". A private nuisance is an interference with a person's enjoyment and use of his land. The law recognizes that landowners, or those in rightful possession of land, have the right to the unimpaired condition of the property and to reasonable comfort and convenience in its occupation.

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So if they are interfering with your use of the property, that is a private nuisance and you can get an order from the judge for them to abate the nuisance or be held in contempt of court and face fines and penalties up to 6 months in jail for repeated violations.

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And of course you can always continue to contact police regarding disturbances and illegal activity and even go over the local police's head and talk to the police commissioner about the problem to see if you can get stepped up police presence which tends to deter criminal behavior..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Well I am a homeowner, they are tenants of section 8 next door to me. Suing them I don't think will lead anywhere. It sounds as if I have little chance to sue the owner of he property and win, or have them evicted.
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Ok, then you would be suing the landlord based on the private nuisance action I described that you could file against the tenant..

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The landlord's negligence in dealing with his tenants is interfering with you using and enjoying your property. Since he has to power to remedy the situation by evicting them, he is contributorily liable for the private nuisance.

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If you were to have a local attorney send a "cease and desist" letter to the landlord, threatening to sue him for nuisance, and hold him liable for all the legal costs, that may "encourage" him to just get rid of the tenants rather than risk being sued and held liable for damages.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Should I ask to see if he has actually filed any paperwork for eviction of the section 8 tenants before I contact a local attorney? Also how would I look up an attorney that deals in this practice? In other words if I do a google search what would I type in the search bar?
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Should I ask to see if he has actually filed any paperwork for eviction of the section 8 tenants before I contact a local attorney?

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Trust me, he hasn't... he is a landlord and Sec 8 pays guaranteed money each month and he doesn't want to cut off that money because he will have to go in and fix the place up for a new tenant. Since the tenants don't bother him, he just tells you that he is working on it and then goes back to doing whatever he was doing.

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The only way you are going to get his attention is legally..

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Also how would I look up an attorney that deals in this practice? In other words if I do a google search what would I type in the search bar?

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You can just look up local civil litigation attorneys, real estate litigation, or even landlord/tenant attorneys and that should give you some options to see what it would cost to have them send out a threatening letter to try to scare the landlord into getting rid of them.... I would ballpark it at $150-200 if you can find a small solo attorney or couple attorney firm..

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thanks

Barrister

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