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- sigh -

Posted by David on October 10, 2000 at 11:58:40:

In Reply to: Re: Roommate Issues: Revision posted by Ken on October 10, 2000 at 01:04:20:

The roommate arrangement was a verbal one. I leased the apartment for us in my name, because I was the only one with the credit to do it. The lease expires in July, 2001, and they know it. I don't want to be "shady". I just want peace. Money's not an issue. These people are (or have been) part of a small group of people I call friends, so I don't want to screw them over, either.

I know it's a bad situation to begin with, and I should have gotten something in writing from them from the outset. When we moved in, we all agreed that we would do our share of housework, cleaning, etc. We each agreed to pay 1/4 of all expenses, including rent. Now, it seems the only one who can afford to live here is me and my partner. Since we're planning to move out-of-state anyway, I can't have an ongoing legal battle interrupt my work once I've moved.

I'm not an overly aggressive person unless I've been pushed too far... throwing around legal notices and threatening lawsuits isn't my style, nor will it go very far in keeping these people on a friendly basis down the road. Especially since we have to live with them, at least for a while.

At this point, I'm thinking about just having a heart-to-heart with them -- no animosity -- and telling them that they need to get some kind of new lease negotiated with the owner as well as a notarized letter from the owner releasing me from the lease that's currently in my name. He won't have a problem with it, I think, because we've always been on-time with our rent, and he's the kind of person who sees the value of a bird in hand, as it were, even if it's out of pure laziness.

So thank you for your suggestions and comments. It looks like once again my options in this city are limited to just throwing my hands in the air and waiting for someone's whim to change in my direction. I give up.

As a postscript, let me say that the 9 or so years I've lived in New York City (8 of them in Manhattan, the latest in Staten Island), my optimism and expectations from others has dropped to an all-time low. People just don't do what they say they're going to do here. Everyone is out for themselves, including supposedly trusted companies and services. No one believes in the value of customer service or interpersonal trust. It's a zoo.

I spent a year in San Francisco to "recharge" and regain what used to be a positive perspective on the workings of the world. It's different there. In fact, it's different everywhere. When I came back, I thought I could, through the power of sheer will, make New York living more bearable, to no avail. I've made my livelihood doing everything in my power to make sure that my clients are more than pleased with what I'm paid for doing. Am I the only one?

Listen to me, I'm whining. :-)

Thanks again.

: What agreement did you have with them regarding move out ? Written or oral ? When does your lease expire ?

: Whatever you do, try to get them out on your own (without resorting to taking legal action). Housing court can take a long time. At the same time, it would probably be illegal for you just to toss out their stuff. Assuming you all don't have a written agreement and they are just renting rooms from you month-to-month the way to kick them out is to give them 30 days notice by certified, registered mail that you are terminating their tenancy. You cannot collect rent for after that time. If they don't leave, get a lawyer WHO REPRESENTS LANDLORDS and take them to housing court.

: Consider other options as well. For example, when does your lease expire ? You can just tell everybody that your lease is up and you all must move out. They might buy it. Good luck.

: : After reviewing the lease, I noticed that I was mistaken: the roommates are NOT listed as occupants on the lease. My name is the only one on the lease.

: :
: : : I live in Staten Island with two roommates, both listed on the lease as occupants (not leaseholders). I want them both out. One doesn't pay his bills and owes me almost $1000 for rent/utilities. Tthe other, though he pays his rent and utilities on time, is filthy and brings strangers into the house at all hours (sometimes two or more times in a night). Neither helps around the house with general day-to-day chores (dishes, cleaning bathroom, picking up after themselves, etc.). What do I have to do to get them out? When I spoke to them about the problems I was having with them, they suggested that they could take over the lease and I could move. RIGHT!

: : : Do I need to give them notice in writing? Is there some legal process I must follow (i.e. 30-day notice)? What if they refuse to leave?

: : : Thanks
: : : Dave

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