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Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Removes Criminal Tenant From Lower East Side Building and Maintains Landlord’s Compliance With HFA

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was contacted by a large corporate landlord who desperately needed to remove a tenant who was jeopardizing the safety of the building residents by virtue of her illegal drug use and the nuisance caused in the building from her unit.

Traffic was coming in and out of the building of individuals who were apparently on drugs. Some of these individuals were banging their heads on the wall, acting disturbed, and displaying what appeared to be prescription pills on tables. Some of these supposed guests were providing false names to doormen. The tenant was successful at hiding the actual drugs in her apartment. The only time when paraphernalia was found was as a result of 911 being called (by the tenant or her guests) because of apparent overdoses in the unit. Even then, no drugs were recovered.

Immediately, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. interviewed witnesses and collected evidence to start the eviction process. Next, our actions focused on immediate steps to ensure building safety. Given the history of false information provided to doormen, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. implemented a system whereby photo identification of guests was required for all guests of this tenant. As a result, this put a significant constraint on the constant flow of apparent drug addicts.

After its investigation, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. commenced a nuisance action to evict the tenant. Nuisance cases, categorically, are very difficult. Even when a landlord can actually prove nuisance, in the first instance, the remedy often offered to the tenant is to cure the nuisance. Another major hurdle to overcome was the lack of direct evidence of actual drug trade, i.e. exchanges of drugs for money on the premises by the tenant. Without such evidence of the sale of drugs, this case was set to be an uphill climb. Further, the case was afflicted by the predictable unwillingness of other tenants to testify against a neighbor.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s efforts ultimately turned a weak case into a winnable, although still very difficult scenario. The tenant was subsequently arrested for credit card theft, and Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. stayed in contact with the New York County District Attorney’s Office to monitor the posture of the case. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. scoured for facts to support its claim and to attack the tenant’s credibility. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. collected records relating to the criminal history of the tenant and her criminal undertenant. Finally, after Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. built the case with what it had, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. negotiated a settlement under which the tenant agreed to vacate the apartment.

Because the building was in the “80/20” program Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. had to also satisfy the New York State Housing Finance Administration (HFA) that the landlord was making adequate efforts to remain within program requirements with respect to this unit, at a risk to the client of thousands of dollars. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. immediately addressed this situation and kept HFA at bay throughout the process.

For Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., Landlord-Tenant Managing Partner Dov Treiman directed the general strategy for the case and did the paper drafting while former A.D.A. interfaced with the District Attorney’s office and HFA and also did the courtroom work needed to secure the client’s victory.

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