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Elderly Tenant's Stench Affecting Others

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Elderly Tenant's Stench Affecting Others

Postby strongstench » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:00 pm

I have a four-bedroom apartment, and I rent out three of the bedrooms. I recently, October, approved an elderly person to rent one of the rooms. After this person brought in their furniture and settled in, I immediately notice a strong pungent odor emanating from the room. As time progressed, the odor has become stronger, and I noticed that this person does not shower.

I've had two tenants leave between October and now because of this. The elderly tenant pays their rent on time and is quiet, but I'm concerned that their is nothing I can do. There is a clause in the rental agreement that stipulates either party can terminate the agreement at any time, given 30-days notice. However, I'm reluctant to enforce that for fear of an ageism lawsuit, since there's technically no issue besides the stench. Please help.
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Re: Elderly Tenant's Stench Affecting Others

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:21 pm

You don't provide details, but I would take a look at the roommate law. See http://www.tenant.net/alerts/articles/roommates.html

You might have more roommates than are legally permissible. Of course if the LL isn't objecting, then just sit tight.

As for the roommate in question, I would first have a face-to-face sit-down with the person and see if that solves the problem.

Understand that with roommates, you are operating as a landlord, and restrictions against LL bad behavior apply to you in this regard. If you want this person out, you need to follow all the rules. And be careful as the 2019 rent laws have changes some of the rules on notice.
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Re: Elderly Tenant's Stench Affecting Others

Postby strongstench » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:29 pm

Thanks. I owe my apartment outright. The rental agreement I have people sign stipulate they are tenants, not roommates. The stench is not a health concern, per se, it's just affecting my pocket. I may just deal with it, for now.

On the flip side, and this site may not be able to answer this, I know elderly people have a certain odor to them because of age and biological changes. I really think the lack of showering exacerbates the situation. How do I tell someone who is 30 years my senior, and not my keen, that they need to shower?
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Re: Elderly Tenant's Stench Affecting Others

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:40 pm

So is that a coop, or a condo?

As for stipulating them as tenants, that might mean nothing. When you rent rooms out to individuals, they are likely roommates. A lot depends on details.

Either way, you are operating as a LL, and you must follow the law if you seek to evict any person.

I don't know if age has anything to do with an increase in odor, but if it does, chances are it isn't so over-bearing that a person in another room will up and leave. Give it a try and speak to the person.
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Re: Elderly Tenant's Stench Affecting Others

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:51 am

For what it's worth, your setup appears to violate the Housing Maintenance Code, which limits the number of unrelated people living in an apartment to three. The law is REALLY rarely enforced, but something to be aware of.

https://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/nyre ... mates.html
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