What to do if I have a relative staying in my basement but they now refuse to pay rent?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if I have a relative staying in my basement but they now refuse to pay rent?

My partner bought a house with a separate basement unit. He was helping his sister from a different town who was going through a tough time; he paid her shipping costs of over $5,000 to ship all her furniture. He requested $800 month for a 2 bedroom unit with separate kitchen/full bathroom. Also, he requested her to share 1/3 of the electric and gas bill. She’s been staying with us for 4 months but has never paid a pennyand she has with no intention to move out.

Asked on February 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The sister would be considered a tenant, not a guest, since there was an agreement that she would pay rent. However, a tenant who does not pay rent may be evicted. She should not even have to be provided notice first; when a tenant does not pay rent as per the agreement (whether a written lease or an oral agreement), the landlord (that's you) can immediately file a complaint seeking eviction. You should therefore bring an eviction action; based on the facts you recite, you should win, and be given a judgment of possesion, after which the sheriff, constable, or similar court officer will lock her out.

It is fairly straightforward to do this, and you can can find forms, instructions, time lines, etc. through your local court. However, since family is involved, it would be a better idea to "depersonalize" the issue somewhat and retain landlord-tenant counsel to help you.  Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption