Q: Can a neighbor's estranged family member use our lobby to store clean and dirty clothes?
A neighbor's son has been storing his suitcase in our building's lobby for just over 5 weeks now. He changes clothes there daily and keeps his dirty clothes in a trash bag. The neighbor will not let him in her apartment b/c of COVID-19 contamination concerns (b/c this son is homeless). They feed him daily meals in the hallway. We've previously had to call emergency medical services when this estranged person was overdosing in the lobby of our building. We overheard that he just got out of rehab for heroin. Is there anything we can do about this situation? We've brought it up to management, but they haven't done anything to this point. Any suggestions on how to resolve this situation would be much appreciated. For further context, we just had a baby and we are concerned about physical safety and possible contamination of our lobby.
A: While there is no general prohibition on landlord's to restrict a tenant's guest's access to the common areas of the building, this situation may be an exception. It sounds like the person is residing in the hallway which would be a violation of the building's certificate of occupancy. Additionally, it sounds like the person is making that area of the building uninhabitable and endangering the building tenants. This would be a violation f the warranty of habitability and your lease. You should contact management again (preferably in writing) and escalate the problem to the Courts if they do not remedy it. Specifically, you would be suing the landlord, not the lobby occupant, since you and the hallway occupant do not have a legal relationship. You can find the steps to commence a proceeding via Order to Show Cause here: https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/housing/osc.shtml.
Of course it is always advisable to speak to an attorney on this matter.
1 user found this answer helpful
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.