Queens, NY asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: Hi. I lost my apt a few months ago. I had nowhere to go so 6 wks ago my boyfriend (who lives in his parents finished att

attic) started sneaking me into their house. It’s connected to their living space but they hardly ever go upstairs. And since there’s a a bathroom upstairs, I only went downstairs to come and go through the side door. My rescued pigeons have also been here (parents knew) as well as any belongings I use daily. The rest is in storage. 2 days ago they realized I was here and want me out. Side note: my boyfriend owes me 10k that I was counting on to use as deposit for an apt. He doesn’t have it bc his parents raised a lazy unemployed mooch who doesn’t pay hisdebt. His cousin agreed to cover it but his parents stopped it. Which brings me back to my original point… Do I have any rights (ie do they have to go to court to get me out)? They own the house. My boyfriend does not pay rent, ever. Oh and I only come and go with him, when he unlocks the side door for me. Also, he claims they want him out too. But I’m assuming he has the right to be here until until evicted? Thank you for your help.

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Under New York law, even if you have been living in someone else's home without a formal rental agreement, you may still have certain rights as a tenant. Since you've been residing there for more than 30 days, you are considered a month-to-month tenant under New York's tenant laws. This means that the homeowners must go through the legal eviction process to remove you, which includes giving you a formal notice to vacate and potentially filing an eviction lawsuit if you don't leave by the deadline in the notice.

Your boyfriend's situation is separate from yours. If he is a resident and his parents want him to leave, they must also follow the proper legal eviction process. It's important to understand that these processes are subject to specific legal requirements and time frames.

Regarding the debt your boyfriend owes you, this is a separate legal matter. You might consider seeking legal advice or taking civil action to recover the money he owes you. In the meantime, it would be wise to start looking for alternative housing options, as living in a situation where you are not welcome and could be legally evicted may not be sustainable in the long term.

Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Dear Queens Resident:

Sneaking into the house does not create any legal protection against eviction. When the homeowner discovers that you have been in the house without their permission--their attorney may very well decide you are a squatter. On the other hand, using the expression "sneaking" when you are accommodating a legal resident into his home seems a bit careless. Sneaking in is a crime--coming in with a legal occupant is not.

The real issue is how the parents react to their son. If they level a legal eviction claim against him--unless he agrees to cease sneaking you into their home--he will need to choose between you and his parents. The homeowners cannot proceed against you alone since, at a minimum, you are a Licensee of the son who continues to grant you entry into his home. But they could decide to end the son's legal occupancy, and you won't have a greater right to the home than he has.

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