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Tenant skips town destroys apartment.

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York

My family lives in a two family house and my dad rents the lower half away. The tenant has been leaving their for 3years. He's a bit of a deadbeat as he's usually late with the rent, but he does pay up. He does disappear for a month or so.

But he has been gone for 2 concetative months without any notice. What's worse is he has a final notice from the gas/heat company. (Not a new issue but with him gone this long it is.) Concern, my dad look through the side window and told everyone that the apartment is trashed. The tenant remodel the kitchen to make it look nice at least 2 years ago. But now he says everything is trashed with nothing there but an old sofa. He also said that he can tell that the tenant either destroyed or stole a wall cabinet.

Here's the worse part my dad does not have a contract with him.

He wants to know how long he must wait to retake the apartment back, it has been 2 months now. How can he track him down? We stop recieving his mail about a month and a half ago.

Can he sue him for property damages? A wall is missing.

What are all his legal options?
He want to:
1) Take over the apartment legally as his own property.
2) Track the tenant down.
3) Sue the tenant for excessive damages. (Missing dry wall. Damage hard wood floors. Missing cabinets.
4) Sue for missing rent as well************** I guess this is part of 3.
5) Re list the apartment with a contract. Where can he find one that he can use and add his own info in to it. What must be present to make it binding. Can he take the person's social security number? Can he photocopy drivers license and or passport?

I dunno if any of this is possible, but what can he do, legally? Should he file police charges?

Also because there is no contract**************.. legally, the tenant doesn't own the apartment right? Can't he just take it back now?

Gail in Georgia

Senior Member
No offense but it's highly questionable as to whether your father has any business being a landlord.

At any rate, he has two options; he can assume the unit is abandoned and proceed from there or he can follow the attached requirements for going through the process of evicting this tenant in your state:

New York Evictions

Some landlords will still go through the eviction process to avoid a deadbeat tenant returning, saying they were illegally evicted and sue for all their precious belongings (which suddenly increase in value several thousand-fold) being tossed.

Once the eviction is completed by the court, the damage to the unit repaired and the former tenant found (if ever) your father can consider taking him to court to sue him for owed rent and damages. Good luck on getting any money out of him.

There are many state specific leases available for purchase on the Internet.


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