MikeW posted in the TenantNet Conference Area
Dated : May 13, 1998 at 14:07:07
Subject: Re: Illegal Sublet, Tennant Breaks Down Door.
There is alot your friend can do. First, just going into the apartment and locking out the subtenent is a criminal offense. Your friend could probably have the prime tenant arrested, if the cops will bother. She certainly has a civil case. No matter what the situation, no one can be just thrown out of where they are living. The landlord, owner, prime tenant, whomever controls the apartment has to go to housing court and get a legal eviction. Make sure your friend has some proof she lives there. Utililty bills, tax returns, paychecks, even things like magazine subscriptions and junk mail would help. So will witnesses.
Now here is the interesting part. Your friend has been paying a $800 per month overcharge. By law, she is entitled to triple damages for the overcharge. If she can prove how much see paid, and for how long, she may have a hell of a case against the prime tenant.
Finally, if the tenant does try and throw her out, she can rat them out to the landlord, and try to cut a deal to get the apartment for her/himself. Illegally subletting is grounds for the prime tenants eviction. This could be a dangerous game, in that the landlord is under no obligation to give the subtenant a lease, but if she negotiates carefully, it would be in the landlord's interest to do so. This is also a hell of a retaliatory weapon against the prime tenant if your friend is evicted.
: My close friend who has no internet acess has been living in a sublet since October. She became suspicious when her Landlord/Tennant started asking her questions about her bumping into the building manager or the Building owners laywer. She found out the Tennant is paying $400 in rent and charging her a sublet of $1200 per month as a furnished apartment. She was called by the Tennant on Monday, and was too busy at work to return her call. Last night at midnight the Tennant shows up with a locksmith and starts tearing down the door. My friend had changed the locks last week but had not been able to get new keys to the Tennant yet. Can someone just bust your door down like this? Then the Tennant screams at her for a couple of hours and says she has to move by the end of the month or else she is moving her sister in there.
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