City Can Evict Squatters
LVT Number: 10239
Facts: Squatters occupied five New York City-owned buildings and sued landlord to stop it from ejecting them. Landlord City wanted to rehabilitate the buildings and create 41 low-income housing units. The court issued a temporary order stopping landlord from using self-help to eject squatters from the buildings. DOB and HPD claimed that two of the buildings were in such hazardous condition that they were immediately dangerous. While the court initially ordered the squatters to move out, it later revoked this and ordered landlord to immediately present a plan for making necessary repairs while squatters remained. Landlord appealed. Court: Landlord wins. The appeals court allowed landlord to eject squatters and seal the buildings. The court then ruled that landlord proved the buildings were immediately dangerous. There was sufficient testimony from experts that, among other things, load-bearing partition walls had been removed. Landlord also wasn't required to present a plan for making repairs. Squatters had no legal right to occupy the buildings, and landlord had no legal obligation to make repairs.
East 13th St. Homesteaders' Coalition v. Wright: NYLJ, p. 25, col. 3 (12/12/95) (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Rosenberger, JP, Ellerin, Williams, Tom, Mazzarelli, JJ)