Doris, a mother of three, came into the Legal Hand office looking for help finding affordable housing because she had been told
by her landlord that she had to move out of her apartment by the end of the month. The Legal Hand volunteer who met with her discovered that Doris had been living in a rent stabilized apartment for 20 years with her family. The current two-year lease was under her father’s name, but for the past year he had only been living in the apartment part-time. Doris lived in the apartment continuously with her three children and paid the rent on-time almost every month despite the apartment needing many repairs. She was shocked to get a letter telling her that she would have to move out of the apartment because her father wasn’t living there full-time anymore. She was very scared because she had tried to find a new apartment for weeks and could not find anything affordable and she wasn’t sure what to do next.
The Legal Hand volunteer, under the supervision of a NYLAG attorney, talked to Doris about her rights as a tenant and explained the eviction process to her. The volunteer gave her information about asserting tenant succession rights and explained that she may have a right to stay in the apartment and take over the lease. The volunteer also talked to Doris about the repairs needed in the apartment and gave her information about how to request repairs from her landlord and how to report repairs to 311 if her landlord didn’t respond. At the end of the meeting that day, Doris said that she felt so much better because she had a plan of action and understood her rights.