I have a question regarding a rental property I own located in Upstate NY. A while back, there was some leaking from the skylight and I had it fixed it as soon as I could. Now, a few weeks ago my tenant sent me a picture of some mold around the skylight and even said he suspect it is toxic black mold. There are just a few specks not larger than a penny and, from picture, I can’t tell if they are black or not. I told him I will have someone come and check it out, but he continued adding that his girlfriend (now his wife) is suffering from asthma because of this issue (even though the mold issue is recent). He is the sole tenant on our original lease and a few month ago his lease expired but I let him stay on a month to month basis. I didn’t know he had a roommate or there are now multiple people occupying my apartment. Anyway, he started to be hostile and threatening me with legal actions even before I get a chance to see the ceiling, mold, have it tested and repaired. A few days ago, I sent him a notice that I am sending someone to test the air and the mold and he started to put conditions on this person’s visit. He is saying that he had a friend check the mold and he doesn’t want anybody coming in to mess up with it. This seems highly suspicious because it seems that he doesn’t want me to fix it perhaps because he wants the mold to be present as part of some legal actions he is planning on. The reason I am asking for your advice here is I did consult a couple of attorneys and apparently, they are estimating a few thousand dollars to handle this case. I am hardly making any profit from my rental property and can’t afford large attorney fees. I tried to sell my property multiple times but wasn’t successful. I only got into this rental business since I lost my job and could find another one. It was a huge mistake since not only the value of the property went sown significantly but the rent income is not even enough to make a living off (I owe a mortgage on property as well). I would greatly appreciate any input from anyone here. At this point I am depressed to a point of breakdown. Thanks in advance. Alex.
1 Answer from Attorneys
If he has a month to month tenancy, why don't you just give him notice and get him out? In many counties the clerks are very helpful with helping to complete the eviction forms if you need to go that far. He has a month to month tenancy and he'll be a hold-over tenant if he stays. Tough situation and it will work out however it works out; no need to stress or get to the point of a breakdown. He's not going to make any "legal action." No lawyer is going to take any case from him without getting thousands of dollars as a retainer, which he doesn't have.