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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38247
Experience:  17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I reside in Queens, NY and past 2 years, I've had squatters

Customer Question

I reside in Queens, NY and for the past 2 years, I've had squatters living next door. To say they've been a nuisance would be an understatement. From the horrible ordor eminating from their yard--which makes it unbearable to go into my back yard, to the loud physical and verbal altercations, music playing and multiple pit bull dogs --who frequently escape and enter my yard and the yards of other neighbors-- barking non stop into the early morning hours, these people have caused every disturbance imaginable. I spoke to the homeowner who stated he no longer has ties to the property and claimed it is foreclosed and bank owned but upon speaking to the mortgage company, I was advised the home is pre-for-closed and they will be working with their attorneys to initiate forclosure to enable the legal eviction process. To my knowledge, this process will be lengthy especially, when dealing with a homeowner who doesn't want to be involved. Is there anything I can do to further assist the mortgage company in speeding this process ? Can myself and other neighbors file a civil suit against the owner for failure to act and perhaps give him some incentive to do so ? If so, are there legal fees involved in such a lawsuit ? Your expert advice is greatly appreciated in this urgent matter.
Mr James
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year 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..Is there anything I can do to further assist the mortgage company in speeding this process ? Can myself and other neighbors file a civil suit against the owner for failure to act and perhaps give him some incentive to do so ? If so, are there legal fees involved in such a lawsuit ? .If the homeowner has walked away and abandoned the property, then you have a couple options.. First you and other neighbors can continually file complaints with the local Code Enforcement and Housing Inspector if the property is not being maintained. They can issue fines to the owner and even pursue criminal actions against him if he doesn't address the situation..You could also file a civil suit against the neighbor 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..So if the owner is allowing the squatters to create a nuisance that is interfering with other owner's use and enjoyment of their property, then you can sue that owner to get a judge to order him to abate the nuisance or face contempt of court and up to 6 months in jail. 'If you keep up the pressure on both sides....filing complaints with Code and filing suit for private nuisance, then you may "encourage" the owner to go in and evict the squatters, which would presumably solve most of the problems...You would need to hire a local real estate attorney to help with filing the lawsuit, but filing the complaints with the city would obviously be free. If you contacted the local Legal Aid office, they might be able to help or direct you to a low cost attorney who could help. But I would ballpark this at $2500-4000 to get an attorney involved if the owner didn't fight it...thanksBarrister