Middletown, NY asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: Landlord walked in on me changing, I didn't pay rent because of it, they want to evict me. What action can I take?

My landlord/owner of the house I'm renting the basement opened my locked door while I was changing, walked right in. I did not pay rent for July ($200, verbal agreement to pay by the last day of each month) and was given a notice to pay within 2 weeks or vacate the premises. However, they made it clear that as far as they are concerned that paper is just a formality and they want me out regardless of whether or not I give them the $200. Is this legal? Is there anything I can do about this? They will not give me an actual lease nor receipts for payment of previous rent. The letter to pay the $200 from July is the only proof they will give me that I've been a resident here besides some packages I have and my license states this address. They consistently come through a locked door into the area I pay rent for regardless of whether I am home or not.

1 Lawyer Answer
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: From the description of your living arrangements, I suspect that the unit is not "legal". As a result you may have defenses to claims for unpaid rent. However, unless you have a lease or are rent-regulated, provided the proper court process is commenced, the landlord will ultimately be entitled to recover possession of the unit.

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