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The Real Reason Why Landlords File for Eviction

Posted by Melvin Monachan | Jul 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

The threat of eviction is one of the most stress-inducing events to ever happen to a renter. Perhaps you've experienced it firsthand or you know someone who has. Regardless, knowing that you'll be kicked out of the place you now call within the next few days or weeks is nothing short of horrifying, especially if you have a family or pets to take care of.

For thousands of people in New York every year, eviction is their reality. Once a landlord files, renters are forced to allocate time out of their busy schedules to attend rent court to dispute this filing - a hassle for working-class families who are already struggling to keep afloat.

The housing crisis has been a serious issue in New York for decades, as well as in many cities around the United States. One of the proposed remedies was the use of programs. Families who generate income less than the threshold upheld by programs like the Department of Housing and Urban Development can request assistance in the form of an 8 voucher, which provides a subsidy to the landlord directly on behalf of the voucher-holder. But these services have become a necessity for so many families that these programs have begun to turn people away due to a lack of funding. Today, only 1 in 5 applicants who qualify will a voucher. 

So, in the midst of a New York housing crisis, why are landlords filing for eviction so often? Most people are under the impression that it is mere ill will. After all, landlords don't have the best reputation. They're dubbed money-hungry, heartless penny grabbers by society. In your case, you may feel like your landlord has it out for you or you wish that they'd be a little more empathetic of your circumstances. And a great deal of people shares your experience.

But according to a study conducted by Philip Garboden, a professor at the Hawai'i at Manoa, the reason is less about “being mean” for the sake of it, and more about tipping the scales in a power dynamic. The research found that the end goal for landlords isn't to put tenants on the streets. Rather, filing for eviction has become an effective way to collect late fees and fines (even small ones) in hopes to skew the power dynamic in the landlord's favor.

The majority of landlords don't want to evict. And it's not for their tenants' sake: it just isn't financially beneficial overall. When it comes to vacancy and property turnover, there are a plethora of expenses landlords are required to dish out. Realistically, some of them can't even afford to cover these costs. Instead, they scare tenants into paying them what they're owed by way of a court date. 

The legal system oftentimes puts landlords in a power position. It deters tenants from exercising their legal rights in response to mistreatment or code violations, and some tenants don't have the time nor means to attend court, which results in more verdicts that are in favor of a landlord. 

New York Real Estate Attorney

This is why you need the assistance of an attorney to help you make the right decisions in a landlord/tenant dispute. Experienced New York attorney Melvin Monachan can walk you through the and maximize your chances of the judge ruling in your favor. Contact us today by filling out an online contact form or give us a call at (516) 714-5763.

About the Author

Melvin Monachan

Melvin Monachan is the founder of The Law Office of Melvin Monachan, PLLC, a full service, real estate law firm representing individuals, investors and corporate entities in all aspects of real estate law. On the transactional side, Melvin represents purchasers and...

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