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LeftyLandlord

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 

Hello this is long but, please read it, I need help!!

The issue: violation of the co-op board rules. An owner of an apartment has illegally sub-leased or taken a roommate or rented. I am not sure which because he maintains this person is just a guest. The reasoning to do this is to circumvent co-op rules which limit the total number of rentals in the building.

 

Timeline:

Neighbor across the street complains about illegal rental, says new person is going in and out of the apartment in question. 

Owner moves all of his own stuff out. New person moves all stuff in while owner is "Travelling".

I contact owner, owner states it is just a guest helping him move his new stuff in. I ask him to register the guest. Owner does. This restricts the guest to 30 consecutive days within the apartment.

Neighbor complains again, this time around the 30 day mark. I investigate further and see this new person enter the building (not apartment) on camera after the 30 day mark.

I confront owner. Owner says the stay was not consecutive (by email). I doubt this. I have not seen owner in a while, begin to suspect he has rented the place. I express this to the owner.

Owner replies with question: "what information do you need? I am living in this apartment, my guest lives elsewhere." I research online and see a recommendation for a request for mail. He provides recent mail for himself at the current address and for the guest at the different address.

I see this guest go in and out of the building, with a key fairly often (this is okay for registered guests). Whenever I ask the guest, he states he is merely a guest. Whenever I ask owner he says the same. The owner often "forgets" to register the guest but whenever I ask, he does. Owner seems exasperated when asked to re-register the guest over and over, asks if there is a better way to let his friend keep a key and come over some times. I say no.

 

There is only 1 rule in the agreement that may work, it states: "The building may view a series of frequent stays as 1 consecutive stay". In that case, 30 days has been covered for sure. Frequently is not well defined in the rules. The owner will argue that point.

 

What should I do? I feel the owner will simply say that the visits were not frequent, the guest will agree. There is a camera in the lobby of the building and on the 1st floor (businesses) but no cameras in the residential portion. There is a lot of traffic in and out of the building and footage is not saved for very long. How can I make a case to remove this person and reclaim their co-op shares? The board has specifically asked me to crack down on sleazy renters like this.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

rp

Registered:
Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #2 
Sounds like someone is subleasing or just letting a friend borrow their place for awhile.  Maybe it's a rent controlled unit, so the owner is making a few extra bucks.  

What's your stake in this?  (I.e. why do you care?) It's a matter between the owner and the co-op board who likely are already sending rule violation letters to the owner. If you are the "enforcer" of co-op board rules, you need to go back to the board, tell them what you know and let them pursue further if they want.

-RP 
LeftyLandlord

Registered:
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Sorry my English is not the best so it was confusing. Yes I am the enforcer. I send the letters. The letters are how I learned the information I have for example I will send a letter explaining the infraction and consequence of illegally renting and he will reply explaining that the premise of illegally renting is false and it is just a guest who lives elsewhere (which is allowed).

Then the whole address thing happened. I asked for proof of residence for the guest. The guest has bank statements at a different address. So it is hard to enforce even though I know that the guest is present more than the owner.

One thing I have to correct from you, it is not rent controlled in the sense that the owner has purchased the co-op shares for that apartment. However he must abide by the board rules as he only owns shares and not the actual apartment. The rent he must be receiving is higher than the mortgage+co-op fee for sure, so yes, he must be making some money on the side however.

Basically I cannot argue his "proof" so the letters will need to be taken to court, I guess?

My stake is that I was brought in to clean up renters like this inside the building by the board. His neighbor complains often about the situation. That is why I am so concerned.

What should the next step be, legal action? How will my lawyer prove it? I would like to avoid this route and just prove to the tenant that we have the information to enforce.

Thanks
rp

Registered:
Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #4 
Yes, sounds like a "their word against yours" situation. I'd talk to an attorney that specializes in this area of law.  Maybe there is a more threatening / warning type of letter they could put together for you.  If not, tell the neighbor and the co-op board you have no proof.  Maybe they want to pay for a private detective?


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